Illocutionary force is an aspect of how a speaker means what she says. This would seem to imply that speech acts require complex communicative intentions or mastery of often-sophisticated communicative conventions. We may doubt, however, whether all communicatively significant linguistic acts require such intricate machinery. Here I first (§1) review the main outlines of an approach to force and content that I've developed in earlier work. I next (§2) address a problem that J. Cohen raised for certain self-ascriptions of speech acts (such as ‘I claim that P’) that has yet to receive an adequate solution, and then lay down some parameters for such a solution. After showing some extant solutions to be unsatisfactory (§§3–5), I provide a novel (§6) solution that draws upon some neglected suggestions of P. Strawson and J. Urmson, updated and refined with concepts from the evolutionary biology of communication. The solution shows how some communicatively significant linguistic acts do not involve the complex machinery mandated by illocutionary force.