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Just a thought. Any other thoughts on this?





solarwind
Thought: Language is primitive. Languave is interperative. You may chose to interpret vibrations in the air originating from someone else's throat in any way you please, but you can not hold me responsible for any vibrations in the air you interpret. Also, text is interpretive. If I write a "bad word" and you interpret it in a bad way, it is your fault. You can not hold me responsible for anything you percieve on your computer screen as "bad", because it is your mind that has interpreted the pixels on the screen.

Any thoughts on this? Yes, I am quite bored.
Jack_Hammer
solarwind wrote:
Thought: Language is primitive. Languave is interperative. You may chose to interpret vibrations in the air originating from someone else's throat in any way you please, but you can not hold me responsible for any vibrations in the air you interpret. Also, text is interpretive. If I write a "bad word" and you interpret it in a bad way, it is your fault. You can not hold me responsible for anything you percieve on your computer screen as "bad", because it is your mind that has interpreted the pixels on the screen.

Any thoughts on this? Yes, I am quite bored.


In one way, your right because everything is down to interpritation, but in another but very real way no. There is only a certain leverage in interpritation.
Wink
Soulfire
I also think about this, sometimes. Especially the words part, and even more particullarly, swear words. Why are they so bad? They're ONLY words. They're just vibrations from our mouth. It shouldn't count so much.

I dunno, random thought of the day.
solarwind
Yeah well, that's life. People.
ocalhoun
True, you can interpret anything anyway you'd like.
However, should you take that to a logical conclusion, you could interpret a brick wall as something not unlike thin air. Doing that would inevitably result in pain. Therefore, you should only take interpretation so far; some things have multiple correct interpretations, expecialy some words, while some things have only one correct interpretation, such as a brick wall.
HoboPelican
I don't know. Words do have definitions. If you are trying to communicate with people, that would imply that you wanted to be understood. I think you should strive to communicate in such away that the person you are talking to will understand you. That includes knowing the words you use as well as using as much thought as possible as to how others will read them.

Swear words? To a great degree you know that when you call someone an "a**hole", if he's a friend he'll laugh it off. A stranger or aquaintance might be offended. Seems pretty basic.

I guess I believe that if you choose to say something in print or vocally, you have a responsiblity to consider how your listeners will interpret your words.
Otherwise you are only talking to hear your own voice.

(and of course, I screw up and p*ss off people will ill-thought out sentences all the time Laughing )
Vrythramax
A very interesting way of looking at it. Yes the vibrations we create can be interpreted, or in some cases misinterpreted, by others. As for the actual definitions of words (or the vibrations that create sounds we accept as words), are in some cases considered "socially acceptable", "socially unacceptable", derogatory, insulting, complimentary, or just plain hurtful to some.

So I guess is some ways you are right, but in others I have to disagree with you....sorry.
riv
Well, really, people theseadays would expect someone to interpret something correctly when they are attempting to communicate. When someone swears at you, you interpret it, and respond in your own way. It's more opinion that has the say in whether you swear back, or smile, or crawl in a dark corner and sob quietly for a while, then plot your revenge on the person while laughing maniacally. By learning language and reading, we really learn how to correctly interpert something, so we know a "pie" is a sort of dessert, and not cow dung. Anyways, that's just my two cents in this.
psycosquirrel
This idea is parallel with the idea that people can't piss you off, you piss off yourself because of them. I really don't care or react to curse words around here, they are too common. You get used to it and just laugh at the moron who cusses you off for cutting him off in traffic or whatever. Also, if you think of the meanings of the curse words, none of them really mean anything all that bad. I mean, calling someone an idiot seems like more of an insult than calling them a f*cking idiot, at least the latter of the two is getting some action from the girls.
HoboPelican
Vrythramax wrote:
are in some cases considered "socially acceptable", "socially unacceptable", derogatory, insulting, complimentary, or just plain hurtful to some.

So I guess is some ways you are right, but in others I have to disagree with you....sorry.


Laughing you don't have to applogize for disagreeing. Just a basis for discussion, I'm even likely to change my mind.

So, what do you disagree with? I completely believe that words are harmless in themselves. Words have developed connotations beyond their definitions.
When I hear someone call me "cracker" or "offay" (been awhlie for that one) or "whitey" I know I'm being insulted. But the words themselves are only words. No intrinsic "value". BUT I think it is obvious from the context whether it is meant jokingly or hurtfully.

Again, let me know what your thinking?
snowboardude
good going. you just demolished society.
Vrythramax
HoboPelican wrote:
Laughing you don't have to applogize for disagreeing. Just a basis for discussion, I'm even likely to change my mind.

So, what do you disagree with? I completely believe that words are harmless in themselves. Words have developed connotations beyond their definitions.
When I hear someone call me "cracker" or "offay" (been awhlie for that one) or "whitey" I know I'm being insulted. But the words themselves are only words. No intrinsic "value". BUT I think it is obvious from the context whether it is meant jokingly or hurtfully.

Again, let me know what your thinking?


What I would have to disagree with is your contention that it may me "me" that is offended by certain words (or vibrations as you have called them). Society itself has placed certain rules of what would be considered (by some) as being acceptable langauge in common evevry day use.

Would you go into a nice resturant and ask the waitress (or waiter).."what's the best f****** thing you gots for me to chow on tonight b****?" I don't think so....most of us possess mannors of some kind and gauge our vocalizations accordingly.
HoboPelican
Vrythramax wrote:

What I would have to disagree with is your contention that it may me "me" that is offended by certain words (or vibrations as you have called them). Society itself has placed certain rules of what would be considered (by some) as being acceptable langauge in common evevry day use.

Would you go into a nice resturant and ask the waitress (or waiter).."what's the best f****** thing you gots for me to chow on tonight b****?" I don't think so....most of us possess mannors of some kind and gauge our vocalizations accordingly.


I think we actually agree. It wasn't me that spoke of "vibrations", that was solarwind.

I would never go into a resturant and do that. My position is that whoever chooses to speak has a responsibility to consider how his/her words will be interpreted. So while "f*ck" is "just a word", if I choose to use it in a sentence I think I have to look at the situation and decide "am I alone with friends who will not take offense or am I unsure of how others will take it?"

Words have no intrinsic value, but when you communicate with people they DO carry meaning and that meaning can be hurtful, hateful, annoying, etc.

My position, at the moment, is that as soon as yoiu choose to speak, you become responsible for how your words will be taken.
Traveller
This is just a classic case of rationalization and not wanting to take responsibility for one's own actions. Unfortunately, this is something that has become rampant in America (and, perhaps, elsewhere) in recent years.

Most of it has to do with postmodern relativism in which each person supposedly has the right and ability to define right behaviour according to his own standards. Thus, anything that one person may do wrong is not considered wrong in his own eyes, and he may claim that all of the negative responsibility rests with those who perceive that the action is wrong.

By so doing, such people attempt to dismiss the fact that absolutes, including absolute definitions of right and wrong, do exist. Of course, it is interesting that their charade is, itself, the use of an absolute, so they are not completely able to rid themselves of what they know to be true but refuse to acknowlege.

Furthermore, regardless of how anyone interprets any given word, words do have definitions, and there are thought processes and intents behind the speaking of those words. Thus, the speaker has not only the responsibility to say the words in a manner consistent with known usage, but also the responsibility to accept the consequences of his own actions. This is doubly true since, if he deliberately uses the words inconsistently, he is being dishonest; and if he does use the words correctly, he knows that other people are aware of the true meanings.
tidruG
When some Japanese Vacuum Cleaner company launched their products in the USA, their slogan was something like... "Nothing sucks more than a <<insert_product_name_here>>"
Needless to say, the product didn't sell much until they changed their catch-phrase.
So, what I'm going to ask is...
Quote:
My position, at the moment, is that as soon as yoiu choose to speak, you become responsible for how your words will be taken.
What if you're unaware of the social connotations of a word when you utter it?

Secondly, vibrations themselves are pointless and highly subjective. However, words (language) is more or less objective, since each word has a particular (or a particular set of, based on context) definitions in a language.

The severity or the "impact" of cuss words (or any other words, actually) depends more on an individual, though. You can choose how you want to react to what's been said. However, the interpretation is generally objective.

Also note that words are pointless themselves. Without tone, it's rather difficult to try to interpret them correctly... "What a fanstastic car!" - it could be an honest joyous exclamation, a celebration of a new Porche, or it could be a sarcastic comment, a humourous appreciation of a run-down Mini Cooper Razz
HoboPelican
tidruG wrote:

So, what I'm going to ask is...
Quote:
My position, at the moment, is that as soon as yoiu choose to speak, you become responsible for how your words will be taken.
What if you're unaware of the social connotations of a word when you utter it?

If, to the best of your ability, you use language to convey your meaning and you are still misunderstood, is it out of line to still bear the brunt of the error? No ill-intent, but you still used language that you didn't fully understand. The Japanese sucking machine slogan was not designed to be laughable, but the copy writer was not being very careful with a language he was not familiar with.
Quote:


Secondly, ...
The severity or the "impact" of cuss words (or any other words, actually) depends more on an individual, though. You can choose how you want to react to what's been said. However, the interpretation is generally objective.

You can choose to react, I agree. I still hold that it is up to the speaker to consider how his words will be interpreted. I've I go into a Navajo community center and state "look at all the injuns!" I am going to cause a stir. "injun" is just a word, but in this situation it is pretty obvious what is going to happen. Is it the Navajos fault if they choose to take a bad connotation or is it mine for not anticipating how it would be taken.
Quote:

Also note that words are pointless themselves. Without tone, it's rather difficult to try to interpret them correctly... "What a fanstastic car!" - it could be an honest joyous exclamation, a celebration of a new Porche, or it could be a sarcastic comment, a humourous appreciation of a run-down Mini Cooper Razz


Agreed. Intonation is part of communication and I think anything I've said about words can be applied to intonation as well.
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