Names Without Frontiers: Legislative Titles and Sloganeering
Posted: 13 Feb 2001
A recent spate of legislation in Australia with sloganeering titles raises questions about the interrelationship of political, parliamentary, and legislative language. This article traces the history and functions of legislative titling. Titling came to serve an essentially descriptive function, through the use of bland, bureaucratic language which exhibited indifference to the politics of law-making. The short title, however, in an age of political spin-doctoring, could become a site for image conscious 'motherhood' statements. Reasons to lament such a trend are proposed, as well as factors to explain its appearance. The Australian examples are examined with a view to understanding their motivations. Historical and comparative precedents are also considered. In conclusion, the article seeks to locate the trend in the broader context of naming conventions in a media conscious age.
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