What's the difference?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by StrangerInAStrangeLand, May 28, 2015.

  1. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    In my experience, the speaker intends it as a statement of fact but they do not know how to say it or do not care.
    Of course, we reasonably know some Muslims are terrorists & assume the speaker is kindly pointing out that not all are. Tho we think we understand the intent, the sentence does not say what we think the speaker wants to say.
    In the previous example, we do not know the parents being referred to. We have no way to know whether any or all care about children's education yet some assume they know the speaker meant something other than what was said.
    Your point seems to fit even when the facts are not known.

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  3. geordief Registered Senior Member

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    An interesting thread (that hurts my head).

    I would say that linguistic logic and methods can be either fuzzy or distinct -and either method can lead to pitfalls if taken to extremes.

    As Fraggle Rocker implied at the outset language comes with checks and balances and is a work in progress(both in the long and short term).
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    The checks and balances only work if there is only one possible intent of the statement.

    Does it not occur to anyone that - without context, for all we know these statements were made in sarcasm, or in irony?

    If that were true, then the paradoxical meaning could very well be the correct interpretation.
     
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  7. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    The checks & balances work only as well as people want them to & too many people don't understand & too many do not care.
    Actually, it is a work in regress.
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  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Only in spoken and written languages, which are subject to local customs.
    If I wish a performer to "break a leg" is the same as saying "Go kill 'em", each is a expressed wish for a spectacular performance.

    In mathematics such ironic analogies are not allowed.
     
  9. geordief Registered Senior Member

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    Do you want to expand ?(my checks and balances reference was loosely thought through)

    I am amazed that many people care about language as I would guess its value as an/the incomparable tool means that it "hides in full sight".

    I know that there are parochial concerns in the UK for example and regional and class based accents identify the speaker ,usually in an unfavourable way and that the advent of Trump to a position of influence can be seen as a return to some kind of a dark age of abuse of language. (the suspicion with me is that he feigned ignorance and has now "gone native")
     
  10. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    I want language to be clear. Other than joking & goofing off, I do not understand saying anything that is not clear & correct. Is not the purpose of saying something to communicate? Or is it only to hear oneself babble?
    I am concerned that many do not care about language & do not care whether they are understood.

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  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I completely agree, but when it comes to verbal or written languages, one must take into account the unfamiliarity with certain local words and phrases and as long as the content of the message seems logical, I (English is my second language) will bring attention to the linguistic error (privately so as not to publicly embarrass the person), who might otherwise possess a keen and perceptive mind.

    Instant dismissal for linguistic or semantic confusion is not productive, IMO. The content of the message is what counts, regardless how it is presented.
     
  12. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    I do not call for instant dismissal of a person, theory, idea or message simply because it is not presented well.

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  13. geordief Registered Senior Member

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    Most people must feel they"own" their language. It has such utility, is so much fun and is completely internalized so that is is second nature to (wrongly) equate the mechanics of one's utterances as irreproachable.

    Linguistic theoreticians surely have a different angle of approach but the old joke about the scholar who knew how to speak in 27 tongues but who had nothing interesting to say in any comes to mind.

    Was it Mark Twain who came up with that?

    Lack of clarity with an interlocutor can be ironed out in the course of the conversation (can enhance the process) and ,too that extent is a large part of the "context" of the informational exchange.

    Trump the (un) usual exception

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    Last edited: May 17, 2017
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  14. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    1 - Yesterday I forgot to eat.

    2 - I forgot to eat yesterday.

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