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Major Tom



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 7562

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

there's an assumption there, though, xilo -- that there is a point to be had...that the expression is being made for some reason of diadactic or persuasive nature.

quite potentially nonsense and rubbish.



to express for the sake of venting your spleen, to express to make certain the offense you yourself have been offronted with has been surely noted, to express in order to repel and offend, to express to deride, to express to gain the appreciation of the like-minded (and, perhaps low-browed) with no regard to the receptivivity of the target...

...while not the most respectable of motivations they are real and valid, nonetheless.
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Xilonen



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

but expression purely for expression's sake is not what i'm talking about. i'm talking specifically about attempts to communicate a particular message/feeling/idea and to be understood. obviously this doesn't apply to talking for the sake of hearing oneself talk, etc etc.
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Guccipiggy



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 2003

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Expression is a part of communication, though. I think that if the other person refuses to understand a message because it contains the word 'slut' in it, then that person is at fault.

It's the same reaaaaally annoying thing that you get when talking to someone in the following scenario:

"Life is great"
"I disagree"
"Why?"
"Define life"
"The animate existence or period of animate existence of an individual"
"Ok. Define animate"
"Alive; possessing life"
"Ok, what do you mean with 'posess'"

The message was clear and understandable. Yet, the whole discussion goes bananas.
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Major Tom



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 7562

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Xilonen wrote:
but expression purely for expression's sake is not what i'm talking about. i'm talking specifically about attempts to communicate a particular message/feeling/idea and to be understood. obviously this doesn't apply to talking for the sake of hearing oneself talk, etc etc.


but lily was talking about a certain type of clothing...message or for the sake of clothing, do you think?

me -- i'm talking about expression without restriction as to purpose, excluding none and considering the purity of the form in all its ugly, man-animal glory.

choke on the rules, cuz they don't maybe stop no one but you.
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 10250
Location: A false vacuum abiding in ignorance.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Xilonen wrote:
but expression purely for expression's sake is not what i'm talking about. i'm talking specifically about attempts to communicate a particular message/feeling/idea and to be understood. obviously this doesn't apply to talking for the sake of hearing oneself talk, etc etc.


I often wonder if all the blame for communication failures should be blamed on the person trying to convey an idea/feeling/mesage. One example of factors beyond the speaker's control I think could be termed as 'over-personalizing'. I've seen many instances where a listener has gotten offended by a remark because they perceived it as a personal attack, when in fact it was not. For example, a speaker may make a general remark saying that the local government is corrupt and in need of change while ignorant to the fact that the speaker's parent just happens to hold a position in the local govenrment. The listener then gets offended because they think the speaker was making a personal attack against their family as opposed to their intended goal of a genreal observation regarding the local government. In this instance, I think the listener has a resposibility, before any rebuttal, to find out the speaker's knowledge of the listener's relation to said official, and perhaps even ask for further clarification. If the listener started a heated, emotional argument w/o first finding out more information then I feel that while the speaker may have initiated the misunderstanding it would then be the listener's fault for escalating the situation unecessarily.
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Xilonen



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 465
Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

of course there's responsibility in the listener, but as a communicator, you can't control the biases and comperhension of your audience, you can only choose your words as best you can to maximize the chance of a successful communication.
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Major Tom



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BLAH!

accuracy is far more important than vanilla-comprehension-planning.

your view describes one of the most potent problems with politics...i mention this in case you did not realize.
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Xilonen



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

how is doing the best you can to make yourself understood given that you can't control your audience a bad thing? accuracy is great. go accuracy! it usually makes it easier to get your point across to a greater number of people. personal embellishments work better with closer acquaintances than random strangers, and are more likely to cause misunderstandings in those conditions.

so i don't see why you're bothering to compare the lies of politicians, great as they are with wordplay (generally...Rolling Eyes), with the benefits correct word choices have in communication. just because some people choose to use their ability to persuade and effectively communicate to bad ends doesn't make the concept any less important.
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Major Tom



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 7562

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you have restated your case poorly in an attempt to pretend that two disparate contentions are equitable:

(1)
Xilonen wrote:
...you can only choose your words as best you can to maximize the chance of a successful communication.


(2)
Xilonen wrote:
...doing the best you can to make yourself understood given that you can't control your audience...


there is a world of difference, linguistically speaking, between doing your best to be understood and maximizing the reach of your message. you cannot retain accuracy and at the same time be all things to all people.

i use the extremes of description to make the point clear.

Xilonen wrote:
accuracy is great. go accuracy! it usually makes it easier to get your point across to a greater number of people.


ridiculous.

speak to a scientist and ask them to be as accurate as possible in describing something within their realm of specialty. regardless as to whether or not you, yourself, understand the scientist, if you happen to be in a room with 9 of your friends who are of randomly disparate educational backgrounds and occupational histories, it is not likely that more of them will understand what the scientist says than would have understood him (or thought they had understood him) had he given you all "the gist of it".

yet, that "gist" most certainly would have been far more imprecise.

Xilonen wrote:
personal embellishments work better with closer acquaintances than random strangers, and are more likely to cause misunderstandings in those conditions.


this is a curious interjection of a random nature. it amuses me.

Xilonen wrote:
so i don't see why you're bothering to compare the lies of politicians, great as they are with wordplay (generally...Rolling Eyes)


i don't see why you're mentioning lies. i didn't.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Major Tom wrote:
you have restated your case poorly in an attempt to pretend that two disparate contentions are equitable:

(1)
Xilonen wrote:
...you can only choose your words as best you can to maximize the chance of a successful communication.

(2)
Xilonen wrote:
...doing the best you can to make yourself understood given that you can't control your audience...


there is a world of difference, linguistically speaking, between doing your best to be understood and maximizing the reach of your message. you cannot retain accuracy and at the same time be all things to all people.

But we already went over this... neither of us suggested "being all things to all people". We're talking about interpersonal communication, not "maximum reach". Intended audiences. In the context of her point the two statements mean the same thing.

Quote:
speak to a scientist and ask them to be as accurate as possible in describing something within their realm of specialty. regardless as to whether or not you, yourself, understand the scientist, if you happen to be in a room with 9 of your friends who are of randomly disparate educational backgrounds and occupational histories, it is not likely that more of them will understand what the scientist says than would have understood him (or thought they had understood him) had he given you all "the gist of it".

yet, that "gist" most certainly would have been far more imprecise.

Are we talking about accuracy of conveying a particular message (ie. asking a doctor, "what's wrong with my son?") or intense attention to detail? The two are not the same thing. If you ask someone to give you every detail then you get what you ask for. If you ask them to tell you something specific and they go into the ether with their explanation then they have failed to communicate effectively.

Guccipiggy wrote:
Expression is a part of communication, though. I think that if the other person refuses to understand a message because it contains the word 'slut' in it, then that person is at fault.

and all them niggers are just being uppity!

The point isn't where the fault lies. "You shouldn't say that," vs. "you shouldn't be offended by it," are value judgements. However, the fact that communication failed is the whole point. As a communicator conversing with others we have to be both speakers and listeners and should do both well, but since we can't control how others listen if our goal is to convey a message then we should to do so in a manner that is conducive to it being received and understood.
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Major Tom



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogen wrote:

But we already went over this... neither of us suggested "being all things to all people". We're talking about interpersonal communication, not "maximum reach". Intended audiences. In the context of her point the two statements mean the same thing.


well, what you say might be true, except for the fact that you're mistaken. xilo did in fact suggest that she was discussing maximum reach:
Xilonen wrote:
accuracy is great. go accuracy! it usually makes it easier to get your point across to a greater number of people.




Dogen wrote:
Are we talking about accuracy of conveying a particular message (ie. asking a doctor, "what's wrong with my son?") or intense attention to detail? The two are not the same thing.


of course they are the same thing. while a doctor might give you a generalized response of pertinent facts so that you can take care of your son, or even he might give you an explanation of the ailment itself, in "layman's terms", he has not, in fact, been as accurate as possible in answering the question that was asked.

were he to be as accurate as he could be, it is less likely that the entirety of his response would be understood by some portion of the people that hear it.

the devil is in the details.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Major Tom wrote:
well, what you say might be true, except for the fact that you're mistaken. xilo did in fact suggest that she was discussing maximum reach:
Xilonen wrote:
accuracy is great. go accuracy! it usually makes it easier to get your point across to a greater number of people.

That's not the interpretation I got from what she said, but I suppose I'll let her decide what she meant, rather than the two of us. Damn messages getting confused... Wink

Quote:
Dogen wrote:
Are we talking about accuracy of conveying a particular message (ie. asking a doctor, "what's wrong with my son?") or intense attention to detail? The two are not the same thing.

of course they are the same thing. while a doctor might give you a generalized response of pertinent facts so that you can take care of your son, or even he might give you an explanation of the ailment itself, in "layman's terms", he has not, in fact, been as accurate as possible in answering the question that was asked.

The highlighted word above is what is central to the change in the meaning of "accuracy". The ability to convey an idea accurately and accuracy in detail are definitely not the same thing. The purpose of the communication, in this instance, is not to find out if the doctor really knows what's wrong but to allow the parents to understand why the child is ill, what they need to do, etc. If he is accurate to detail but fails to convey the meaning to his patients by not tailoring his message to them he has failed to be accurate in his choice of communication.
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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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Location: under the bed

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

....you all realize that i have _no_ idea what you all are raving about....right?
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Sojobo



Joined: 12 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am also starting to get a bit wary of continuing. My point seems a little more simple (simplistic?) than Major Tom's.

I read lily as 1) advocating care and clarity in speaking. This is always a wonderful move, and I'm not sure anyone would argue with it. Specifically, if you're going to use the word "slutty," it is best that you understand how its nuances affect the meaning of what you're saying - it has somewhat negative connotation and may offend some people, etc.

But, she also extended that into 2) that the careful choosing of language involves creating a "culture of respect." I interpret this to mean that even if you may really mean "slutty," you might want to use the word "provocative" instead, so as not to offend. I have been referring to this mostly as politeness.

I think Dogen's expansion of the reason for politeness, and Xilonen's remarks in the same vein, are perfectly clear. Of course some people, when offended, will stop listening altogether, and the communication drops to a very low level.

My side is that to use the word "provocative" instead of the word "slutty" is to fail at communication in the first place. You are deliberately accepting a less accurate communcation in exchange for a greater likelihood that some communication will happen.

I make the value judgement that rare-but-deep communication is better than regular-but-shallow communication.
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Xilonen



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 465
Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogen wrote:
Major Tom wrote:
well, what you say might be true, except for the fact that you're mistaken. xilo did in fact suggest that she was discussing maximum reach:
Xilonen wrote:
accuracy is great. go accuracy! it usually makes it easier to get your point across to a greater number of people.

That's not the interpretation I got from what she said, but I suppose I'll let her decide what she meant, rather than the two of us. Damn messages getting confused... Wink


what i mean is that for most topics, being accurate is preferable to being vague. of course, Tom, if you jump straight to complex scientific theory, accuracy is not always entirely possible, and then you have to take the ability of your listener into consideration and do your best to make your message understandable while not changing the point. you can explain the process of chemical and electrical signaling in highly scientific terms, or you can describe the concepts and be less accurate while not being inaccurate. i don't plan on condemning accuracy altogether just because it's not always possible to maintain.

Quote:
Dogen wrote:
Are we talking about accuracy of conveying a particular message (ie. asking a doctor, "what's wrong with my son?") or intense attention to detail? The two are not the same thing.

of course they are the same thing. while a doctor might give you a generalized response of pertinent facts so that you can take care of your son, or even he might give you an explanation of the ailment itself, in "layman's terms", he has not, in fact, been as accurate as possible in answering the question that was asked.

yet again, an example of complex nature. with the majority of subjects such complexity is not necessary to be 'accurate.'

additionally, the technical accuracy and the accuracy of the message are entirely different. you can be completely accurate in your description, but because the message was too difficult for your audience to decypher and encode, the message sent will be entirely inaccurate.
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