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the language of discord

 
 
Reply Fri 21 Mar, 2003 07:49 pm
nominal=thats really a huge car
operational= that car is 11' 4" long 5' 4" wide and weighs 2 1/2 tons

On virtually every topic i have followed on this forum from literature to politics there has been almost immediate discord when terms of nominal definition creep into the discourse. Nominal terms lack any kind of context from which dialogue can emerge with clarity. From democracy to fine dining, when we lack operational definitions we promote confusion which leads to conflict. More notable are usage of terms like "liberal" or "conservative". Value laden words without intrinsic value of communication render the debate futile allowing for only further polarization in defense of the words used rather than understanding. If we want to promote ideas, perspectives and understandings we have to start with a language of carefully crafted meaning. "Those damn SUV's that take over the road" is a nominal charge without value because SUV's come in all sizes.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 6,317 • Replies: 98
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Mar, 2003 09:25 pm
Off to view my language around the place Dys!

I agree with you, by the way - although, in practice, we are going to use such language. I am thinking I tend to modify my uses of it with a little self-deprecating humour - but I am going to be fascinated to really look at a few posts by various people.

To many foreign eyes, the whole liberal/conservative split in US thought seems very odd, since the two sides appear to many of us to be joint right of centre groupings, with not a lot between them - this means that the charged language around them has very little charge for people like myself - but bring in those SUVs and all reason deserts me!
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ehBeth
 
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Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2003 03:00 pm
but dys, everybody KNOWS what we mean when we say those things are f'in' huge! like, i mean, it's f'in' insane, they're such monstrosities.
kinda like when we say yer cute. you KNOW what we mean, doncha? :wink:


Sorry, but i had to do that. There have been a few (understatement in honour of steissd) threads that I gave up following since they were so freighted with nominal language. I don't think we can stop them, but it is helpful when forum guides occasionally ask people to clarify things.


(i will not be clarifying anything about dys being cute, cuz you all already know that)
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2003 06:50 pm
Heehee - he IS cute!

Thing is, speaking as a forum guide, (and Bunny - I sometimes think this means I must try a little harder than most to gain a stern and serious reputation), that when I, with great sarcasm and admonitoryness of tone, ask these clarifying questions, many of the nominalister of nominalists, being, perhaps, not those MOST sensitive to nuance, carefully and patronisingly explain to me the mechanics of the evacuation of the contents of an ovum via means of hominid induced negative pressure!

I mean - it GETS to you, it does. Nemmind.

I guess only fellow family therapists are gonna get the savage intent behind the words "I was puzzled when you said..."

However - it is most interesting to note which discussions go off the rails, and when they do so, and how they are brought back - when this is possible.
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Ethel2
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2003 08:28 pm
Dys,

You are cute and.............

Would a huge SUV be an operational definition? If not, maybe it would be close enough. :-) Being one tending toward a hysterical style (as opposed to obsessive) I reserve the right to speak nominally as long as I define my terms.

An example of a hysterical style follows:

Once a woman was describing her father and she said he was "wham bang". This may not be operational, but it is descriptive while, I will admit, leaving much to interpretation.
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2003 08:57 pm
ok already, prechance i have shot meself in the foot with this but what i was thinking is that with nominal verbage the receiver must attempt understanding based on who the sender is; If Lola in a post said "Dys, thats a fairly liberal statement" i would have a totally different response than if some other person made the same comment. with nominal usage sans clairty conflict soon arises due to differences in understanding. any better?
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Ethel2
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2003 08:59 pm
Are you saying we understand each other Dyslexia? If so, I agree. And I do. Great thread. And I wouldn't worry much about your foot. It looks just fine to me.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2003 11:22 pm
Deb - Say What?
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Mar, 2003 01:56 am
Umm - which bit didn't you get Wilso?
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Ethel2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Mar, 2003 02:16 am
Deb,

It is interesting about which threads don't make it and which do and where and how they go wrong. I hadn't thought of it before, quite like that, but it is.

And though I don't do family therapy now, I have done it quite enough to remember the hostility that can be behind the words, "You know I love you, but..............."
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Mar, 2003 02:32 am
Um, this is the part roger didn't get.

Thing is, speaking as a forum guide, (and Bunny - I sometimes think this means I must try a little harder than most to gain a stern and serious reputation), that when I, with great sarcasm and admonitoryness of tone, ask these clarifying questions, many of the nominalister of nominalists, being, perhaps, not those MOST sensitive to nuance, carefully and patronisingly explain to me the mechanics of the evacuation of the contents of an ovum via means of hominid induced negative pressure!

I mean - it GETS to you, it does. Nemmind.

I guess only fellow family therapists are gonna get the savage intent behind the words "I was puzzled when you said..."

However - it is most interesting to note which discussions go off the rails, and when they do so, and how they are brought back - when this is possible.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Mar, 2003 03:40 am
LOL! ok. Hmmmmmmm.

Speaking as a forum guide (and a bunny - bunnies being a thing not immediately taken seriously by everyone) - when I ask questions meant to rouse concern in the hearts of those one could describe as nominalists, who might not be the a2kers MOST aware of nuance and subtlety in communication, they frequently act most patronisingly - assuming my irony to be ignorance - and attempt to teach their grandma (me) to suck eggs!

This pisses me off mightily - but I DO try to understand that language is a complex thing, subject to many misunderstandings.

Did that help, Roger and Wilso?
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JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Mar, 2003 03:57 am
Maybe that helped rog and wilso but I am lost in miunsunderstandings.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Mar, 2003 04:28 am
Put it like that, yes. Actually, I was assuming my own ignorance, and the lateness of the hour.

It's time to track down the old "Good Night, Pueo" thread.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Mar, 2003 04:31 am
Crikey, Joanne, I really cannot put it any simpler!
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pueo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Mar, 2003 04:35 am
dis' cord or dat cord who knows?

jd, i'm lost too. must be an oz thing.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Mar, 2003 04:37 am
GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Roger gets it!
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Mar, 2003 04:41 am
I used to say things like, "I got too many smarts to. . . " Oh, well. At least I gave a few people the rare chance to feel superior to someone. It was probably good for them.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Mar, 2003 04:42 am
Wot?

Shocked

Does it help to note that I was responding to ehBeth's post?:

EhBeth said: "Sorry, but I had to do that. There have been a few (understatement in honour of steissd) threads that I gave up following since they were so freighted with nominal language. I don't think we can stop them, but it is helpful when forum guides occasionally ask people to clarify things. "
0 Replies
 
pueo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Mar, 2003 05:11 am
roger's last post confuses me too. Confused
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