Linguistics (Humanities), 1955

Putting on make-up or wearing heels. Adopting a role or persona in a social situation to convince others of something about you, e.g. writing papers using the word “performativity” instead of “performance” to appear intellectual™.

The French Philospher’s favourite idea of speech being an “act” was introduced by British philosopher John Austin around 1955 in his concept of the “performative utterance” as he thought about the idea of making a promise to someone. To date, it’s referred to as “speech act theory” even though… it was never a formal theory, and it had nothing to do with speech being an act.