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Words MEAN things, gad dommit!!

OT Language Cultures

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#41 Bad Wolf

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 11:50 AM

While I disagree that sexuality is a preference, I agree with everything else you said Christopher.

Sexuality is not always absolute.  I think that's where the controversy that led to this thread started. It certainly *can* be absolute.  But it isn't always.
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#42 Nick

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 04:26 PM

Delvo, on Aug 11 2003, 10:02 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). 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). . . Members of the same sex are just not seen that way any more than cordless phones are seen as something to drink.
*Nick takes a swig of Cordless Phone  :hehe:

I haven't heard anywhere that all heterosexuals, or even most of them, are truly "closet bisexuals".  Although, I would like to add that it's not terribly uncommon for (I've seen statistics that estimate as high as 25% in some studies) heterosexual-identified individuals to engage in "bicurious" behavior.  This doesn't mean sex per se, or anything that happens more than in a just "experimenting way".

The confusion in heterosexual/bisexual/homosexual definitions is not because of the coolness factor or the result of a vast GLBT conspiracy, but simply because of the difference in a sexual identity and sexual behavior

Such is the problem with labels--they are seldom exact fits.

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#43 Laoise

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 08:52 PM

Julie, on Aug 11 2003, 10:07 AM, said:

So what do you suggest we call "Native Americans" then?  Using "Indian" for two different ethnic groups is just plain confusing.
I try to use "Aborginal".  Where I live, it seems to be prefered even above First Nations now, and certainly better liked than Native and Indian.
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#44 Delvo

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 09:19 PM

Aboriginal/aborigine is alright, and so can "indian" be if you add something to distinguish (east/west, American). I really like "amerind", which I first encountered in a linguistics class while reading about the history of the "amerinds'" languages, because it's based on an old phrase but changed slightly to correct the built-in "error", and also shortened to make pronouncing it in real use more convenient.

Addendum on "first nations": it's a reference to the PAST at best, and yet it's being used for people who live there NOW.

On sexuality: Obviously a specific action doesn't prove orientation. But I never said it did; it can limit the possibilities, which is all I said it does. Yes, people can settle for having sex with someone who's not actually attractive to them, but that's just putting on an act, so it has nothing to do with what the preacher said that I was reacting to, because he specified doing it FOR PLEASURE/SATISFACTION. THAT means having sex with someone who's sexy to you. And thus, who that person is can eliminate either heterosexuality or homosexuality as possibilities in your case. If that person who turns you on is the same sex as you, then you're homo or bi, but not hetero. If that person is the other sex, then you're hetero or bi, but not homo. It really is that simple... as long as you stick to what I actually said instead of arguing against things I didn't, such as that stuff about putting on an act with someone who's not sexy to you.

#45 Delvo

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 09:21 PM

Another one from another thread: people are people. Dogs and other animals are not. End of story. Not a matter of opinion. Why pretend otherwise?

#46 Laoise

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 09:27 PM

Delvo, on Aug 11 2003, 08:19 PM, said:

Addendum on "first nations": it's a reference to the PAST at best, and yet it's being used for people who live there NOW.
Not much wrong with acknowledging the past though, eh?
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#47 Rhea

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 10:37 AM

Christopher, on Aug 11 2003, 07:53 AM, said:

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.
My brother is the same. He was a pitcher in school, and he pitched left-handed and batted right-handed. But then, he's ambidextrous. Lucky guy. I am SO right-handed, and wish I'd gotten HIS luck of the draw instead.
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#48 Delvo

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 08:51 PM

OK, here's another one I just saw...

Starvation, malnutrition, and famine aren't "hunger". So why do news reports on these things always call them "hunger"? You'd expect them to sensationalize and overstate things, but this is an especially odd case because it DOWNPLAYS the real things by mislabelling them as something much MILDER! Akhck...

#49 Uncle Sid

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 09:20 PM

Well, people, especially in front of their TVs in the West have very rarely experienced actual starvation or malnutrition to the point we'd see in famine striken places in the Third World.  They have, however, experienced hunger, like I am right now incidentially, and they know that this is quite uncomfortable.  So in order to actually more reaction to the situation, aid agencies have chosen to express it in terms that might seem to downplay the problem in theory, but would nevertheless get more emotional response and sympathy because it can be identified with.
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#50 Rhea

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 09:43 AM

Delvo, on Aug 13 2003, 06:51 PM, said:

OK, here's another one I just saw...

Starvation, malnutrition, and famine aren't "hunger". So why do news reports on these things always call them "hunger"? You'd expect them to sensationalize and overstate things, but this is an especially odd case because it DOWNPLAYS the real things by mislabelling them as something much MILDER! Akhck...
Actually, that's backward. Starvation, malnutrition and famine are ALWAYS hunger, but the reverse is not true.
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#51 Lady of Mystery

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 11:17 PM

Una Salus Lillius, on Aug 11 2003, 11:50 AM, said:

While I disagree that sexuality is a preference, <snipped>

Sexuality is not always absolute.  I think that's where the controversy that led to this thread started. It certainly *can* be absolute.  But it isn't always.
From a previous post Lil said

Quote

And yet, is that not what so many religions do? Institutionalize anti gay sentiment?

After having read the thread regarding the induction of a gay bishop--and this on semantics I must say that for the first time I do agree with you Lil.

The biggest problem I think for some Christians, (myself included in this group) is the defination  of homosexuality, or the understanding of that term.

For you Lil, I believe (and correct me if I am wrong here) you consider homosexuality as simply a fact, as  being a blonde is a fact, as being a "little person" is a fact and so forth.  The "owner" doesn't chose it, IT  chooses the owner.

But for some  Christians, homosexuality is a behaviour , not a fact.  A behaviour that is learned, chosen and practiced because one wants to, not is forced to.

And thus the reason why there is always argument, that leads many times to either hateful statements, or discrimmination of another's point of view.

I can't speak for all Christians, only for those who believe as I do.  

So, it would be next to impossible to discuss this with you Lil, not because you don't understand, but because your interpretation is not the same.  

And I also find that it is very easy to judge anyone, especially if they do not accept another's interpretation.

Unless people can "accept" the SAME defination/ interpretation of a term, then it is very difficult to discuss without prejudice, don't you think?

Lady

#52 Delvo

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 09:28 PM

OK, here's a few more...

No, the police are NOT trying to figure out whether or not alcohol "played a factor" in the accident. They're trying to figure out whether or not it "WAS a factor", or, to say it as a metaphor, whether or not it "PLAYED a role". Nothing can ever "play a factor" in anything!

And "UFO" means "unidentified flying object", not "alien spaceship". To think of them as alien vessels is to assign them an identity, which disqualifies them from being unidentified! Meanwhile, it could be just a hawk, and if you couldn't identify it, then it would still be a UFO!

#53 Consubstantial

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 09:50 AM

Just wanted to chime in to say that no one to one relationship between signifier and signified exists.  To assume that other beings understand even simple, concrete words in the same way leads to misunderstanding and fallacious argumentation.  In many ways, it's a wonder that beings manage to communicate at all.  

This discussion remined me of Chuang Tzu, "A fish trap is for catching fish; once you've caught the fish, you can forget about the trap.  A rabbit snare is for catching rabbits; once you've caught the rabbit, you can forget about the snare.  Words are for catching ideas; once you've caught the idea, you can forget about the words.  Where can I find a person who knows how to forget about words so that I can have a few words with him?"
From the start, our terms jump to conclusions--Kenneth Burke

#54 HubcapDave

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 12:18 PM

Julie, on Aug 11 2003, 09:07 AM, said:

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.
Well, since they generally call themselves Indians nowadays, it would be apt.

Or we could refer to them by their individual tribe names.

#55 HubcapDave

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 12:48 PM

Alright, I have a few.

The first one is a phrase that is generally used by sports writers and talk show hosts, etc.

The phrase started out to be "on track". It means essentially, getting going in the right direction. For example, the pitcher is getting on track again after a couple of bad outings.

Somewhere along the way, an idiot with some cotton in his ears didn't hear it quite right, and thought it was "untracked". Now, this makes no sense at all in the way the phrase is used. But nowadays, when you hear it, or see it in print, sportwriters and sportscasters use it as "untracked".


Here's a couple that fit the sexual issues discussed here:

Homophobe means "Irrational fear of homosexual people", yet I hear it used whenever someone disagrees with the positions many homosexual people take. Just because someone disagrees with another doesn't mean they fear that person, irrationally or otherwise.

Also people use the word tolerance incorrectly. Tolerance means to allow something to occur without necessarily agreeing with it. Yet I hear many people use it basically to mean acceptance.

As to the "African-American" thing: I had heard of a speech by Al Gore (at least I think it was Al) where in praising Nelson Mandela, he called him "a good African-American".

#56 Delvo

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 02:17 PM

Hey, black people in Africa are now "African-American Africans". Seriously, they've said that on the news and such.

And that "untracked" thing, although I've never heard it myself, reminds me of people who turn "couldn't care less" into its precise opposite, "could care less", and yet try to use it to mean exactly the same thing. Those morons just need to be smacked :grr: Do they even listen to themselves talk at all, or can they just not hear over the clicking of the bugs and spiders in their cavernous skulls?

#57 QueenTiye

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 02:40 PM

Delvo, on Aug 22 2003, 03:17 PM, said:

Hey, black people in Africa are now "African-American Africans". Seriously, they've said that on the news and such.
Actually - there may be some justification for African-American Africans - especially with Liberia being in the news these days.  At least some of the conflict in Liberia is over indigenous Liberians versus Liberians who are descendents of African-American immigrants...

Anyway - no need to call people morons.  While the expressions are obvious contradictions, we've had those in English for quite a while.  There's even a word for it (oxymoronic)... AND - sometimes standard usage just takes precedence over "correct usage" by being SO commonplace that it BECOMES correct.

(Although I've never heard the "untracked" thing, and could care less... ;) LOL!)

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#58 HubcapDave

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 05:37 PM

I always thought an oxymoron was a phrase that consisted of two items which were conradictory or mutually exclusive, like Senate Ethics or Military Intelligence (so the joke goes!)

#59 Rhea

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 10:21 PM

Quote

From the Greek, oxys (sharp, keen) + moros (foolish). Sharply foolish. A combination of contradictory or incongruous words (as in cruel kindness).

Examples:

military intelligence
airline food
peacekeeping force
mandatory option
a little bit pregnant :p :p
jumbo shrimp     :angel:

Edited by Rhea, 22 August 2003 - 10:22 PM.

The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#60 Delvo

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 05:43 AM

I was just reminded of this thread in another, and realized I've been noticing, and commented about, another couple of words lately: hypocrit/hypocrisy and coward(ice).

Hypocrisy is supposed to be when someone holds himself/herself and friends and allies to two different standards or gives them different judgesments under similar circumstances. But people who want something to criticize can't find something real to criticize, they just find any two statements by the person they want to criticize, and fling them out with the label "hypocritical", as if the word meant any two statements by the same person (or group) that the person complaining about it doesn't like.

And cowardice is supposed to be excessive fear or letting fear control onesself, the opposite of bravery. But it seems to get used sometimes to describe anyone the speaker doesn't like for ANY reason. Even the terrorists are called cowards, but lack of courage certainly isn't what's wrong with them!



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