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Words MEAN things, gad dommit!!

OT Language Cultures

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#21 Iolanthe

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 07:05 AM

Ilphi, on Aug 11 2003, 03:05 AM, said:

Most other countries in the world seem to have embraced the game (And I'm not going to pretend the English invented it, it was the Roman Settlers in Britain who originally played the game with a bag which one team had to get from one side to the other, no rules, but I digress...) but I'm just curious as to why the game has never really taken off in the States.
Actually, amateur soccer/football ;) is quite popular on this side of the pond, but only at a certain level -- there are countless kids who play the game, but it hasn't taken off as a professional spectator sport (although the women's game is getting increasing exposure, helped no doubt by some recent national championships). I'm not sure why, though -- according to my dad, a self-proclaimed expert on such matters, it's just Not Manly Enough, but that's silly. ;)
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#22 Christopher

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 08:34 AM

Delvo, on Aug 9 2003, 03:29 PM, said:

This stems from another thread, where I commented that some preacher who had said something about heterosexuals having sex with someone from the same sex had contradicted himself, since people who have sex with someone of the same sex are by definition not heterosexual.
That's like saying that a right-handed batter who practices batting southpaw is by definition not right-handed.  Which is clearly absurd.  An individual act is one thing; an overall preference or tendency is another.  The exception doesn't unmake the rule.

Yes, words mean things, but often they mean more than one thing depending on their context.  "Heterosexual" when applied to an act of intercourse simply refers to the sexes of the participants involved.  "Heterosexual" when applied to a person refers to the person's overall preferences, desires, and behavior patterns.  If you prefer the opposite sex but have same-sex intercourse once, that doesn't make you a homosexual, or a bisexual.  It makes you a heterosexual person having homosexual intercourse.  (Just as you can be a right-handed batter using a left-handed swing.)
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#23 prolog

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 09:29 AM

Ilphi, on Aug 11 2003, 08:05 AM, said:

Actually, seriously, I don't know what it is about American's and Football, can someone elaborate for me? Most other countries in the world seem to have embraced the game (And I'm not going to pretend the English invented it, it was the Roman Settlers in Britain who originally played the game with a bag which one team had to get from one side to the other, no rules, but I digress...) but I'm just curious as to why the game has never really taken off in the States.

I know since the World Cup its gone up a little since the USA team didn't do half-bad.
Given that the US has an absolutely huge enrollment in youth soccer, the interest's there.  The lack of a strong domestic league on par with any of the European ones is probably what causes people to decry the lack of interest.  The thing is, I wouldn't be surprised if it weren't terrifically difficult for a new professional league to break into a country which already has so many.

#24 prolog

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 09:33 AM

Christopher, on Aug 11 2003, 01:34 PM, said:

That's like saying that a right-handed batter who practices batting southpaw is by definition not right-handed.  Which is clearly absurd.
Ow, the ambiguity!  Are you talking about handedness  as it relates to batting, or overall preference?  I've always batted right-handed, even though I'm left-handed, and throw with my left hand. (that's how I was taught to hit, so that's become my dominant side, though I can switch-hit a little)

#25 Christopher

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 09:53 AM

prolog, on Aug 11 2003, 10:33 AM, said:

Christopher, on Aug 11 2003, 01:34 PM, said:

That's like saying that a right-handed batter who practices batting southpaw is by definition not right-handed.  Which is clearly absurd.
Ow, the ambiguity!  Are you talking about handedness  as it relates to batting, or overall preference?  I've always batted right-handed, even though I'm left-handed, and throw with my left hand. (that's how I was taught to hit, so that's become my dominant side, though I can switch-hit a little)
Oh, I didn't know there were people who did that.  Which just proves my case -- you bat right-handed, but are still intrinsically left-handed.  Activity doesn't automatically correspond to orientation.
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#26 Delvo

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 10:02 AM

Christopher, on Aug 11 2003, 07:34 AM, said:

That's like saying that a right-handed batter who practices batting southpaw is by definition not right-handed.  Which is clearly absurd.
It's not like that at all; what's absurd is how bad that analogy is.

What follows here is meant in one of two different ways, depending on you. If you're bisexual yourself, then take it as information. If you're heterosexual (or homosexual), you already know it and just aren't admitting it, so take it as "I'm not fooled."

I know the trendy thing to do right now in discussions of sexuality is to play along with the homo/bi activists' pretense that everyone claiming to be heterosexual is actually a closet bisexual (and that's where this heterosexuals-turned-on-by-the-same-sex nonsense really comes from and the purpose it really serves). But it's just plain not true, and nobody's fooled, although many play along with it as if they were (sorto like when people claim that looks don't matter at all, as long as we're on the topic of sexuality, which seems to generate lies more efficiently than most). Again, to state the pitifully obvious just because its bizarre denial calls for someone to stand up for reality even to those who already know it: heterosexuality is not a choice or a mood or a matter of training, it's who and what one just is. There is simply NO possibility of sexual response to the same sex. Members of the same sex are just not seen that way any more than cordless phones are seen as something to drink. Are there people who can be sexually responsive, turned on, or however you want to put it, to both sexes? Yes, but that minority is not heterosexual. They're bisexual. It's that simple. If they have a preference one way or the other, even a very strong one, then they're bisexual with a preference; heterosexuality, much as bisexuals might not realize it and PC hetereosexuals often don't admit it for whatever reasons, is not a mere matter of preference.

Bisexuals who read that might be surprised. Heterosexuals who read that know it's all true, but still might be shocked that anyone dares to admit it in this day and age.

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The exception doesn't unmake the rule.
No it doesn't. It just means we're dealing with some other word. That's all.

#27 prolog

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 10:05 AM

Christopher, on Aug 11 2003, 02:53 PM, said:

Oh, I didn't know there were people who did that.  Which just proves my case -- you bat right-handed, but are still intrinsically left-handed.  Activity doesn't automatically correspond to orientation.
Yup.  Another good counter-example is in hockey.  Most players shoot left-handed, which is generally opposite from their natural handedness; I find this odd, because in baseball, most swing the bat according to their handedness.  I shoot and bat right - at least I'm consistent! :)

(and yes, I agree that activity doesn't necessarily correspond to orientation)

#28 Delvo

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 10:17 AM

Post mitosis

Edited by Delvo, 11 August 2003 - 10:29 AM.


#29 Delvo

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 10:19 AM

Ooh, here's another one. I am a native American. I was born in the USA, I grew up here, I've spent my whole life here except for three weeks of it several years ago. My whole family has always lived here for generations, more of them than we can even track in some cases. And we're white. Our tribes are Germanic, and our homeland is the USA, where almost all of us have lived and died, and wouldn't have had it any other way, feeling no affinity to any place other than where we are really from. So don't tell us we're not native Americans.

And Canada's "first nations" people didn't have nations, and to call those peoples who were there when Canada was first explored and established as a country by white people, and/or the ones who are there now, the "first" ones to be there is a major simplification of their history that not only is inaccurate but would be seen as an insult if different people had pushed the same notion.

Gotta come up with examples that don't have to do with race... I know there are plenty, since I keep seeing things that make me think of this topic, but it's hard to come up with examples on the spot...

Edited by Delvo, 07 August 2004 - 03:15 PM.


#30 prolog

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 10:21 AM

Delvo, do you even know the definition of "nation"?  I think you're confusing it with "state".  No, Canada's native peoples didn't have a "state" in the way we commonly think of it.  That's hard when you're a nomadic, tribal people.  However, the various groups each had common shared customs, history, and identity within those groups, which makes the term "nation" an apt description.

#31 Delvo

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 10:27 AM

prolog, on Aug 11 2003, 09:05 AM, said:

Another good counter-example is in hockey.  Most players shoot left-handed, which is generally opposite from their natural handedness
If "most" of them do it a certain way, then that way probably is best referred to as "right-handed", even if it LOOKS like a left-handed baseball swing. Hockey shots and baseball swings are two different actions that don't have to work the same way.

I was surprised when I first discovered that most archers shoot backward from the way I'd do it, and I'm right-handed. That doesn't mean most archers shoot left-handed. It just means that the right-handed way to do archery isn't what I would have expected.

"Most people do X left-handed" is bound to be an incorrect statement any time X doesn't have special circumstances surrounding it that FORCE right-handed people to do something unnatural, like playing the French horn.

#32 G-man

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 10:30 AM

The problem with the batting analogy is that a person who can bat either right or left handed is known as a "switch-hitter" as opposed to being a "right-handed" or "left-handed" batter.

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#33 prolog

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 10:41 AM

Delvo, on Aug 11 2003, 03:27 PM, said:

prolog, on Aug 11 2003, 09:05 AM, said:

Another good counter-example is in hockey.  Most players shoot left-handed, which is generally opposite from their natural handedness
If "most" of them do it a certain way, then that way probably is best referred to as "right-handed", even if it LOOKS like a left-handed baseball swing. Hockey shots and baseball swings are two different actions that don't have to work the same way.

I was surprised when I first discovered that most archers shoot backward from the way I'd do it, and I'm right-handed. That doesn't mean most archers shoot left-handed. It just means that the right-handed way to do archery isn't what I would have expected.

"Most people do X left-handed" is bound to be an incorrect statement any time X doesn't have special circumstances surrounding it that FORCE right-handed people to do something unnatural, like playing the French horn.

I don't understand why you insist on labelling a swing or shot based on the predominant handedness of the athletes using it.  Swings/shots/etc are generally defined by which hand is the "power" hand - that is, the hand which is not anchoring the piece of equipment.  It's not defined by some vague concept of athlete majority, nor should it be.  Granted, referring to it as a "right-handed shot" is terribly ambiguous, but less so when it is referred to as "shooting right" or "batting left".

Edit: hockey shots and baseball swings aren't terribly different.  The anchor hand gives the most control, and the power hand gives most of the power behind the swing/shot.  The motions are different, but the basic idea isn't.

How is archery labelled?  I did a little bit when I was a kid, and I always drew back the bowstring and arrow with my left hand.

And I disagree with your last statement, as in sports, left- and right-handedness is well-defined when it comes to equipment.

Edited by prolog, 11 August 2003 - 10:46 AM.


#34 Delvo

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 10:57 AM

I said the way most people do it must be the right-handed way because that's the reality of the situation. Right-handed people, which is most people, are going to usually do things a certain way. That way is the right-handed way. Whether or not it's what you would have expected from looking at the leverage in terms of "anchoring" and such, right-handed people are going to naturally do stuff the right-handed way, because the right-handed way is the way right-handed people will naturally do it! There are exceptions, but looking at the whole group of people cancels them out.

In archery, I've been told that the standard stance is holding the bow out from the body in the left hand while the right hand holds the arrow and string near the ear. The commonality this has with hockey and baseball and boxing seems to be, rather than a matter of "anchoring", a matter of positioning; the left side of the body is toward the action, with the left arm fixed or moving away from the body and the right arm fixed or moving in front of it.

#35 Julie

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 11:07 AM

Delvo, on Aug 11 2003, 11:19 AM, said:

Ooh, here's another one. I am a native American. I was born in the USA, I grew up here, I've spent my whole life here except for three weeks of it several years ago. My whole family has always lived here for generations, more of them than we can even track in some cases. And we're white. Our tribes are Germanic, and our homeland is the USA, especially Missouri and Kansas, where almost all of us have lived and died, and wouldn't have had it any other way, feeling no affinity to any place other than where we are really from. So don't tell us we're not native Americans.

And Canada's "first nations" people didn't have nations, and to call those peoples who were there when Canada was first explored and established as a country by white people, and/or the ones who are there now, the "first" ones to be there is a major simplification of their history that not only is inaccurate but would be seen as an insult if differnet people had pushed the same notion.
So what do you suggest we call "Native Americans" then?  Using "Indian" for two different ethnic groups is just plain confusing.

#36 QueenTiye

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 11:09 AM

First Americans?

Een Draght Mackt Maght


#37 prolog

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 11:12 AM

Delvo, on Aug 11 2003, 03:57 PM, said:

I said the way most people do it must be the right-handed way because that's the reality of the situation. Right-handed people, which is most people, are going to usually do things a certain way. That way is the right-handed way. Whether or not it's what you would have expected from looking at the leverage in terms of "anchoring" and such, right-handed people are going to naturally do stuff the right-handed way, because the right-handed way is the way right-handed people will naturally do it! There are exceptions, but looking at the whole group of people cancels them out.
Here's a flaw in your argument: in Britain, field hockey has a fair number of players.  It's not soccer or cricket, but it enjoys a lot of support.  However, there are no left-handed sticks.  So everyone, regardless of handedness, shoots from the right side.  If opposite-handedness was the "normal" way to do it, wouldn't field hockey have all left-handed sticks? (my understanding as to the mono-stick is that you're not allowed to backhand the ball as in ice hockey)  Clearly, preference for handedness varies from sport to sport, and even from hockey to hockey!  Is there a right-handed way to do things?  Certain things, I believe.  Most people will throw a ball with their primary hand.  Past that, it's hard to say, and redefining what exactly is a "right-handed shot" or whatever is absurd, especially going from sport to sport.  The type of shot is already well-defined; leave it be.

#38 prolog

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 11:12 AM

[double post]

Edited by prolog, 11 August 2003 - 11:13 AM.


#39 WildChildCait

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 11:12 AM

the one that always gets me is on the bbc ceefax..
if you see "5 ill in motorway crash" I expect them to have had salmonella or something as well as being in a crash. What they should be saying is '5 wounded in motorway crash'.

ill is not the same as wounded!


Pet peeve, sorry.
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#40 Christopher

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 11:38 AM

Delvo, on Aug 11 2003, 11:02 AM, said:

I know the trendy thing to do right now in discussions of sexuality is to play along with the homo/bi activists' pretense that everyone claiming to be heterosexual is actually a closet bisexual (and that's where this heterosexuals-turned-on-by-the-same-sex nonsense really comes from and the purpose it really serves).
I was not advocating any "trendy thing."  I was merely reporting the definitions which you can find in any psychology textbook on human sexuality.  It's also simply common sense -- preference and activity are not always the same thing.

I'm not saying "every heterosexual is a closet bisexual."  That's a gross oversimplification.  I'm saying that someone who has an attraction in one direction can choose to act in another direction under certain circumstances, and then revert to actions consistent with one's preferences when those circumstances pass.  I'm saying there's a difference between intrinsic sexual inclination and situational sexual activity.

Quote

Again, to state the pitifully obvious just because its bizarre denial calls for someone to stand up for reality even to those who already know it: heterosexuality is not a choice or a mood or a matter of training, it's who and what one just is.

Umm, that's exactly what I'm saying.  I'm saying that a person's innate orientation remains even if that person situationally chooses to act in a way contrary to that orientation.

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There is simply NO possibility of sexual response to the same sex. Members of the same sex are just not seen that way any more than cordless phones are seen as something to drink. Are there people who can be sexually responsive, turned on, or however you want to put it, to both sexes? Yes, but that minority is not heterosexual. They're bisexual. It's that simple.

Actually it isn't remotely that simple, but I won't argue that.  The problem here is that you're still fixating on the desire, the preference, the affect.  And I'm trying to point out that action and preference are different issues.  It is possible to act in a way that diverges from innate preference.

I mean, look at abstinence.  Whatever your sexuality, abstaining from sex is an act that runs counter to one's desires and preferences.  Conversely, consider a spouse who feels no arousal but participates in sex out of a sense of obligation to the partner.  Clearly people's actual sexual activity can be determined by other factors besides their sexual preferences.  That's all I'm saying -- that activity does not automatically prove preference.
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