Just semantics (was: Re: Aging isn't a disease)

From: Damien Broderick (d.broderick@english.unimelb.edu.au)
Date: Fri Oct 12 2001 - 20:19:45 MDT

At 09:31 PM 10/12/01 +0000, someone wrote:

>but its all semantics

This is one of those cant phrases that genuinely infuriate me, and should
upset anyone with an educated brain in their head.

*Semantics* is the discipline centrally concerned with *the meaning of
statements*, with *how communication works effectively to convey or mask

So `Pah, it's just semantics,' with its implied rider `Please ditch *that*
pettifogging triviality', is equivalent to saying, `That's just trying to
agree on what we're talking about, and the ways we'll do it--let's ignore
such dismal irrelevancies and instead just babble about whatever comes into
our heads.'

Damien Broderick

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