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Don't bother.

By AnsuGisalas ·
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To Apotheon, on relativity. = Ok, I accept that.

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Don't bother.

And you don't need to accept that everything is relative.
I'm just saying, that if you'll accept that many people treat things as if they are relative, and you adapt your output and your examination of their input to take this into account - then you'll have a lot less trouble.
You said you have a pragmatics-enhancing condition: I put it to you that the <a href=>pragmatics</a> I talk about is a linguistic term, referring (f.ex.) to "what is actually the intended message of a statement - regardless of the meaning of its parts".
This I think, is part of what you referred to as "intentional distraction".
Pragmatics is implicit, it's indirect, it's non-semantic (having to do with usage, not with the code, i.e. lexicalized meaning).
"Can you reach the salt" is a classic example, it's hardly ever spoken at face value, it's hardly ever a question about the reach of appendages and their relation to the specific position of the addressee and of the salt shaker...
If you refuse to participate in (compute) similar displacements of trivial semantics, causing more pertinent pragmatic concerns to fall on their asses, then you're causing a disruption of communication.
And causing a disruption of communication is going to be viewed as an unfriendly act.
Which is why you end up in exasperating quarrels with people who'd otherwise be of no particular opposition to your position.
Being undiplomatic is one thing, but playing by undisclosed and completely unconventional rules - that's another.
Some people can accept the undiplomatic. Few can accept idiosyncratic refusal of common-form communication.

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by dogknees In reply to Don't bother.

If your intent is to demonstrate that people are hiding behind language, then wouldn't it be appropriate to point out that the common use maybe shouldn't be so common?

Are we to simply accept the way people conceal their real beliefs and intentions behind opaque language? Are we not to try and bring them into the light? To make them face the reality of their actions and not permit them to hide behind their weasel-words.

Seems to me that's what everyone should be doing, but aren't. And that is itself something that causes me great frustration. The fact that we turn a blind eye to certain behaviour that is immoral, unethical, or even inhuman is reprehensible.

One final point. I, for one, often don't want a complete answer, just enough clues to solve the puzzle results in far more satisfaction and often in greater understanding. It's what I want others to do, so it's what I do.

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Weasel words are intended to mislead

by AnsuGisalas In reply to However

pragmatic metacoding is intended to communicate; it's a way of communicating several meanings at once, not to hide one meaning behind another. In the case of sarcasm, the face meaning isn't really hiding the true meaning, not if it's done right at least. Sarcasm isn't what I was talking about though, it's a special kind of metatext, unlike pragmatics which is a part of all text.

Can you reach the salt : means to communicate
A: by way of the maxim of relevance - that one is interested in the salt.
B: by way of a circular path - that one:
b1: Feels that having the salt is allowable
b2: Feels that the other has a choice in the matter, that one asks an indulgence - and that one does not make a demand.
Politeness is just one aspect of pragmatics, it's diplomacy and it's self-expression.
Being too polite is impolite, as is being insufficiently polite - meaning:
Every situation prescribes a specific level of politeness; one should not say to one's father "Would Mr. Connors be so kind as to pass me the salt?" - that would *in fact* imply that one has been waiting for him to get the clue already, and that one is now pissed off with him.
Likewise one should not speak to a total stranger, of different social status, of different culture, of vastly different age - in a too familiar way, right off the bat. One need something neutral for that.

Asking that people speak only using semantics: Ok, I challenge you, or any other takers. Provide me with an example of conversation that contains no pragmatic metacode...

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Favourite Words

by dogknees In reply to Weasel words are intended ...

>>Likewise one should not speak to a total stranger, ...

Can you give me an example of a "different social status" and why it indicates that someone with that status might deserve to be treated differently to others?

I have some ideas, but I'd like to hear your's.

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You're focusing on the old fashioned definition of social class...

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Favourite Words

I.e. a God-given betterness of some, over others - i.e. nobility, royalty and the abuse of Christ.
That's some messed up shilt, that - and I don't blame you for disliking it.
The thing is though, that there's also a real need to organize the way-too-many social entities in our lives.
We're not evolved for city living yet, that might take a couple thousand years still, you know.
So, the thing isn't about classes, but about social distance.
If you're a majority ethnicity male for example, then you need to observe certain practices when addressing a minority ethnicity female, for instance.
Practices that are designed both to alleviate potential affront, as well as safeguard against sociolect conflicts : what's a normal form addressing a person in one sociolect may carry strong negative connotations in another (since sociolects use many of the same words, but with different meaning sets and values).
So, that's why I talk about social distance. Same, in many cultures with young to old, or old to young.

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Pragmatic Metacode

by dogknees In reply to Weasel words are intended ...

The mathematician Paul Erdos was given to showing up at a friends house and starting the conversation with something like "Consider an non-negative integer i ,.....

This is certainly a discourse which can be completely without social content. Particularly in the case of Erdos, who was almost completely unaware of social conventions. Lest you assume he was trying to impress, that was the last thing on his mind. All he cared about was the mathematics. Noting else mattered to him. Never married, never had sex, never drank or took drugs, never owned a car or a residence,.....

These people exist. Conversations like this do happen. They are just as much members of our society as any one else.

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by AnsuGisalas In reply to Pragmatic Metacode

and still, some people would be offended by that, as (from a normal person) it would carry a truckload of assumptions and assertations about what Erdos considers a human peer... i.e. a person might feel belittled or disregarded as a human, because Erdos did not provide in his addressing them, a place to be that they felt they could fill.
It's about unstated expectations, if they're the wrong kind, that's belittlement or disregard.
Whether or not that was the intent (which of course it was not).

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Social Status

by dogknees In reply to Don't bother.

Is one of the things I was thinking of. As far as I'm concerned, there is (should be) no such thing. I believe in a classless society. That doesn't mean I believe it exists, but that it should be the goal of all societies. So if someone is acting as though they have some right to be treated better than others, the right thing to do it to burst their bubble. To put them in a situation where they either have to spell out why they think they are superior or to accept that they aren't.

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This is troubling

by maxwell edison In reply to Social Status

I read your message to say that you believe in equality of outcome over the equality of opportunity. That, to me, is most troubling.

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I agree...

by AnsuGisalas In reply to This is troubling

It may or may not surprise you, probably not, but I totally agree.
Another thing about dogknee's statement is, that differences in social status are a bit of an illusion, linguistically. It's about the distances, numetrically - not the "high" and "low".

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