Episode 14: The Language of Entrepreneurship – part 1

Talking about entrepreneurship

We begin the first episode of the new mini-series on the language of entrepreneurship by discussing associations with, and definitions of, entrepreneurs. Bernard quotes one definition from Investopedia, a website for investors.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

We then go on to talk about local businesses and what they call themselves. If you read German, you may enjoy this article on names for hairdressers’ shops. Bernard mentions various categorisations of entrepreneurs (see here) and how one type may not regard the other as a “real” entrepreneur

One category of entrepreneur is the ‘mumpreneur’. For academic work on mumpreneurs, and female entrepreneurs more widely, see:

We continue the first part of the episode by talking about the value set on entrepreneurial thinking and attitudes, especially at universities. Veronika mentions examples from the hosts’ employers:

University of Ghent (Bernard): Centre for Student Entrepreneurship, https://www.durfondernemen.be/en/ 

Aston University (Erika): Start-up support for graduate entrepreneurs, https://b-seen.biz

Lancaster University (Veronika): Entrepreneurs in Residence, https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/lums/business/community/entrepreneurs-in-residence/

For critical views on enterprise culture and entrepreneurial universities, see:

  • Fairclough, N. (1993). Discourse and cultural change in the enterprise culture. In Graddol, D., Thompson, L., & and M. Byram (eds), Language and Culture. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, pp. 44-54.
  • Mautner, G. (2005). The entrepreneurial university: A discursive profile of a higher education buzzword. Critical Discourse Studies, 2(2), 95-120.

You can watch Steve Jobs introduce the iPad here:

While the iPad may be a useful invention, check out this Instagram account for some useless inventions 😂😃🤪

During the interview with Munene Khoza, Veronika mentions an interview study she did with language professionals. Here’s the reference: 

  • Koller, V. (2017). Language awareness and language workers. Language Awareness, 27(1-2), 4-20. 

The business plan we analyse in the final part of the episode, and other examples, can be found at https://www.startups.com/library/expert-advice/top-4-business-plan-examples 

Veronika mentions small stories during the analysis, an idea from recent narrative theory (see also episode 7 of the podcast, on storytelling): 

  • Georgakopoulou, A. (2007). Small Stories, Interaction and Identities. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

See you again for the next part of the mini-series on the language of entrepreneurship!

Listen to the episode here

The Language of Corporate Social Responsibility: Ecolinguistics Words and Actions

Prepare to meet some ignorant pigs and silly cows in our second episode on CSR… Together with an expert in ecolinguistics, we will explore the discursive construction of our ideology-laden relationship to nature (and animals in particular!) via the analysis of presuppositions and metaphors, going from tepid COP27 implementation plans on global heating to Chinese self-serving CSR reporting. It will become painfully clear how and why language matters and you'll find out more about your ecosomatic awareness.    As always, you can find more information, references to research and a full transcript on https://wordsandactions.blog. In the introduction, we mention the Yale Programme for Climate. Its most recent survey of  on public attitudes to climate change dates from 2022 and includes the following two maps. The different colours indicates the percentage of the population thinking that climate change will have a direct impact on them. The article on metaphors in climate change discourse is Atanasova, D., & Koteyko, N. (2017). Metaphors in Guardian Online and Mail Online opinion-page content on climate change: War, religion, and politics. Environmental Communication, 11(4), 452-469. This article gives a good overview of war metaphors more generally:  Flusberg, S. J., Matlock, T., & Thibodeau, P. H. (2018). War metaphors in public discourse. Metaphor and Symbol, 33(1), 1-18. We also talk about a chapter in the following book:  Goatly, A. (2007). Washing the Brain: Metaphor and hidden ideology. Benjamins. The cue for our discussion about presuppositions in proverbs about pigs is taken from this article by our interview guest:  Stibbe, A. (2003). As charming as a pig: The discursive construction of the relationship between pigs and humans. Society & Animals, 11(4), 375-392. The origin of the German phrase ‘Schwein gehabt’ meaning having been lucky is not entirely clear, but may go back to a mediaeval custom to give a pig as a consolation prize to someone who had lost in a competition.  The idea that pigs are filthy is also expressed in the film Pulp Fiction (1994), where animals consumed by humans are compared to pets. The different ways in which humans relate to animals are put into stark contrast in this row of shops in a small English town. Our discussion of presuppositions draws on  Polyzou, A. (2015). Presupposition in discourse: Theoretical and methodological issues. Critical Discourse Studies, 12(2), 123-138. Our interview guest, Arran Stibbe, is the founder of the International Ecolinguistics Association and runs a free online course called The Stories We Live By. During the interview, Veronika mentions Buy Nothing Day in Britain, which is on the last Friday in November (but feel free to buy nothing on any day of the year!).  The seminal work in ecofeminism was Daly, M. (1978). Gyn/Ecology: The metaethics of radical feminism. Beacon Press.  while a recent article focuses on the language angle is  Appleby, R., & Pennycook, A. (2017). Swimming with sharks, ecological feminism and posthuman language politics. Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, 14(2-3), 239-261. In the analysis part of the episode, we report on the work on CSR reporting by a number of researchers from China. We mention some recent work that a previous interview guest, Matteo Fuoli, has done with Annika Beelitz, on the discourse of energy companies In the analysis part of the episode, we report on the work on CSR reporting by a number of researchers from China. We mention some recent work that a previous interview guest, Matteo Fuoli, has done with Annika Beelitz, on the discourse of energy companies.   Fuoli, M. and Beelitz, A. (2022). Framing the path to net zero: A corpus analysis of carbon disclosures by the world’s largest corporate emitters, 2011-2020. Paper presented at the 6th Corpora and Discourse international conference. 26-28 August, Bertinoro/Italy. The text we analyse is the 2021 CSR report by China Southern Airlines 2021. The complete report is available both in Chinese and in English.  Finally, we’d like to mention that Erika, Veronika and Bernard are working on the second edition of the Language in Business, Language at Work textbook (Bloomsbury, 2018), which will feature a new chapter on CSR.  See you again for the third and final part of this mini-series!
  1. The Language of Corporate Social Responsibility: Ecolinguistics
  2. The Language of Corporate Social Responsibility: Responsible Communication
  3. Selling Hard and Soft
  4. Language and Identity Online
  5. Language and Technology

Full transcription of the episode

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