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Author Topic: The english language has failed us  (Read 4868 times)
Seth King
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« on: November 19, 2013, 10:19:52 PM »

I know this topic isn't anything new. Libertarians have been complaining about this for a while. But a new light just went off in my head for a particular word.

The word "our."

Take for example the sentence "we need to protect our cars from thieves."

As a libertarian what I mean by this is "I have a need to protect my car from thieves. You have a need to protect your car from thieves. And many others have a need to protect their cars from thieves."

While that's more accurate, it's very verbose. And to somebody who maybe doesn't have a good grasp of the english language, like most americans, or maybe to somebody who isn't very intelligent, like most americans, the sentence "we need to protect our cars from thieves" sounds very much like "you and me and everybody else need to protect all of the cars that we collectively own from thieves."



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Syock
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2013, 10:34:30 PM »

Are you suggesting we take the verbose route in explanation amongst each other on this forum? 
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Seth King
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2013, 10:39:42 PM »

Are you suggesting we take the verbose route in explanation amongst each other on this forum? 

I'm not suggesting anything.

Although, I might be more inclined to go the verbose route when talking to statists in the future.
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Victor
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2013, 01:46:39 PM »

Are you suggesting we take the verbose route in explanation amongst each other on this forum? 

I'm not suggesting anything.

Although, I might be more inclined to go the verbose route when talking to statists in the future.

Statists make my brain feel all mushy.

Is it possible to avoid all the words like these that have different meanings to different people? It seems easier to clarify if one's conversation partner shows themselves to be using a different definition.

Amongst ourselves I imagine it's fine.

By the way, as a side note, have you guys ever heard of English Prime? I'm becoming quite a fan of it, at least as a tool for clarifying my writing, even if I don't use it in everyday conversation.
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2013, 02:14:05 PM »

Statists make my brain feel all mushy.

Is it possible to avoid all the words like these that have different meanings to different people? It seems easier to clarify if one's conversation partner shows themselves to be using a different definition.

Amongst ourselves I imagine it's fine.

By the way, as a side note, have you guys ever heard of English Prime? I'm becoming quite a fan of it, at least as a tool for clarifying my writing, even if I don't use it in everyday conversation.

I like to use dictionary definitions when I notice something is off.  It tends to make the other group of anarchists angry, because they like to misappropriate terms. 
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2013, 09:44:13 AM »

I've tried making contextual definitions for words that can be misinterpreted while using them. Scoping the definition to a narrow slice of it's definition and using that as it's meaning. However, pretty much it just turns into an argument that I am "making up your own definition". Limiting a words interpretation in the context that you are using it is merely trying to get people to understand what you are meaning, and keep them from thinking they understand what you are saying. In my experience, it didn't help.

*edit

Personally I think people should grant each other the right to "make up their own meaning" in the sentence they are making up.  And it doesn't have to alter the definition, just make it more narrow.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2013, 09:50:11 AM by toa » Logged
Victor
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2013, 08:20:37 PM »

I've tried making contextual definitions for words that can be misinterpreted while using them. Scoping the definition to a narrow slice of it's definition and using that as it's meaning. However, pretty much it just turns into an argument that I am "making up your own definition". Limiting a words interpretation in the context that you are using it is merely trying to get people to understand what you are meaning, and keep them from thinking they understand what you are saying. In my experience, it didn't help.

*edit

Personally I think people should grant each other the right to "make up their own meaning" in the sentence they are making up.  And it doesn't have to alter the definition, just make it more narrow.


I do usually try to ask for a person's "operational definition" for something when talking about controversial issues. (By which I mean a definition which I can use to examine real world phenomena and clearly decide whether a certain phenomena fits the definition or not. Something "measurable", at least qualitatively if not quantitatively.)
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2013, 06:32:27 AM »

Seth, try this:  "We need to protect our respective cars from thieves."  You only need to insert one word. Smiley
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Seth King
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2013, 03:34:25 PM »

Seth, try this:  "We need to protect our respective cars from thieves."  You only need to insert one word. Smiley

Very nice!
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LibertarianMoney
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2013, 08:02:20 PM »

Seth, try this:  "We need to protect our respective cars from thieves."  You only need to insert one word. Smiley

Look at the big brain on state hater. Nice.
Now if I could say that in a way that the average statist would understand. Then again, there aren't too many things anyone could say that the average statist would understand.
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« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2013, 01:03:18 PM »

Just a quick hi to you guys out there and would like to join the discussion.
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