i'll let Austin say it for me:
'To name the ship is to say (in the appropriate circumstances) the words 'I
name, &c.'. When I say, before the registrar, &c., 'I do', I am not
reporting on a marriage: I am indulging in it.
What are we to call a sentence or an utterance of this type? I propose to
call it a performative sentence or a performative utterance, or, for short,
'a performative'. The term 'performative' will be used in a variety of
cagnate ways and constructions, much as the term 'imperative' is. The name
is derived, of course, from 'perform', the usual verb with the noun
'action': it indicates that the issuing of the utterance is the performing
of an action - it is not normally thought of as just saying something.'
'How To Do Things With Words' (Oxford: OUP, 1962) p6
more and more writers place this understanding on the front and not the back
burner when they write
I was enjoying reading Peter's sense of that.
love and love