On Tuesday, May 02, 2000 8:55 AM Lee Daniel Crocker firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> > I know Lee Daniel probably did not intend it as an insult to anyone, but
> > most people are going to take it that way. Better instead to avoid such
> > words where possible if, indeed, you want to discourse with others.
> "Avoid" words? How horrific! Words are there to be used; all of them.
> Avoiding words is tantamount to avoiding thought: putting blinders on
> one's mind, communicating in a straitjacket. If words have bad side
> effects, then we should work on repairing those side effects, not the
> words. If "offensiveness" gets in the way of communication, then let
> us fight it--but "offense" exists in the listener's mind only, not the
> speaker's, and that's where it has to be fought.
> Tolerance is an obligation of listeners, not speakers. A speaker's
> only obligation is honesty.
Well said, but words like "stupid" connote something that other, more
neutral terms merely denote. It's like the difference between calling
someone "poor" or saying she's "disadvantaged." The former, despite having
some emotional ties, does not really connote more than someone's
financial/wealth status. The latter does that, but it also sneaks in the
notion that there's some unfairness involved -- i.e., that she's poor
because others (the advantaged) are not.
Also, Lee Daniel must be speaking to someone else. I merely wrote what is
quoted above and not much more. I did not, e.g., bring the word "tolerance"
or "offensive" in here. Reread my post if you do not believe me. To be
"honest" by Lee Daniel's usage, this is the kind of _stupidity_ that
typifies a lot of posts on this list. They [the posters] argue past each
other and respond, knee-jerk-like, to what they feel the other person wrote
rather than what she or he actually wrote.
I specifically avoided tolerance because that issue does not arise here --
unless someone is prepared to censor material or otherwise edit content.
(Which would include DoS attacks.) Since the owner of the list allows it, I
take it that whatever is said here is tolerated.
Penultimately, as you (plural) might have noticed, I usually stay out of
these sorts of debates. Why? They go nowhere. At the end of this little
thread, who will have changed? Lee Daniel? QueenMuse? Anyone? Surely,
we'll be honest about how we feel and what we think, but so what? The
cosmos will grind on anyhow.:)
Finally, with all that said, I'm by no means claiming that Lee Daniel is
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