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    So it's like one of those snowmen that doesn't fall over, only with a cone instead of a snowman-y bit?
    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    If you were to say that each word has a different meaning to its user, despite the broad guidelines of a shared linguistic framework, you would still have a heirarchy within that reality, of words which have high levels of consensus and strict definitions on one end and words with more variable interpretation on the other end.
    *probably shouldn't continue this, but just to say...*

    Yes, although it's arguable whether "sport" is a word with a high level of consensus (definitely lower than, say, chair), but anyhoo. The main thing is that consensus doesn't really matter - if one native speaker uses words in a particular way, they're right within their own paradigms, even if others completely disagree. Of course you can take this to absudity, but with words that can be shown to have varied, non-marginal, interpretations, its best to analyse them as such.

    On an unrelated note, much work today... I've been writing about syllables for hours. And my throat's decided to attack me or something... ah well.
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    Some days I hate myself, no of hrs awake: 4 and a bit, number of questions attempted: none :mad: Where is my work ethic?!!?!
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    (Original post by Supergrunch)
    Yes, although it's arguable whether "sport" is a word with a high level on consensus (definitely lower than, say, chair), but anyhoo. The main thing is that consensus doesn't really matter - if one native speaker uses words in a particular way, they're right within their own paradigms, even if others completely disagree. Of course you can take this to absudity, but with words that can be shown to have varied, non-marginal, interpretations, its best to analyse them as such.
    I think everyone does define sport a bit differently. My personal definition is something like "physical exertion + competition", which excludes stuff like darts and snooker, which I'm sure many would call sports.
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    (Original post by smilepea)
    erm .... I just can't seem to motivate myself ... I don't really know why but I just can't bring myself to start :o: It's really bad, I can't wait for the end of term, not so I can go home but so I don't have any more work to do!
    You won't have any work to do over the Christmas Holidays? :wtf?:

    I am going to be working more or less solidaly, trying to understand all the random stuff that has been forced into me.

    (Original post by Nina)
    oh, to me the 230g bars are the ordinary ones, there's also 400g and 1kg bars. I buy the 230g or 400g as a treat! :p:
    1kg :coma:

    (Original post by Supergrunch)
    Yes, although it's arguable whether "sport" is a word with a high level on consensus (definitely lower than, say, chair), but anyhoo. The main thing is that consensus doesn't really matter - if one native speaker uses words in a particular way, they're right within their own paradigms, even if others completely disagree. Of course you can take this to absudity, but with words that can be shown to have varied, non-marginal, interpretations, its best to analyse them as such.
    I love things like that. You can apply the same argument to beauty, and even morality, and annoy the hell out of loads of purists

    Work has just about reached the stage where I have tried every question multiple times and still can't do them. :hmpf: On the plus side, my supervision partner has only just started apparently, but knowing him he'll whizz through the first 6 and then get stuck on the really hard ones that I don't have a clue about.
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    (Original post by ukebert)
    You won't have any work to do over the Christmas Holidays? :wtf?:

    Work has just about reached the stage where I have tried every question multiple times and still can't do them. :hmpf: On the plus side, my supervision partner has only just started apparently, but knowing him he'll whizz through the first 6 and then get stuck on the really hard ones that I don't have a clue about.
    Ok, well I won't have any imminent deadlines anyway :o: and you never know being at home might actually be good for my work output :rolleyes:

    :hugs: I know the feeling, well, very well indeed, except fortunately my partner normally has done less than me :o:
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    (Original post by Supergrunch)
    The main thing is that consensus doesn't really matter - if one native speaker uses words in a particular way, they're right within their own paradigms, even if others completely disagree. Of course you can take this to absudity, but with words that can be shown to have varied, non-marginal, interpretations, its best to analyse them as such.
    I have no objection to you analysing it as such, as long as this isn't then appropriated as an intellectualised justification by which to get away with making a statement or observation that will very obviously prove either contentious or offensive in a particular context.

    For instance:
    a) "For me, climbing the stairs in my house is a sport." = Contentious and false, but not exactly something that is likely to offend anybody.
    b) "Table tennis isn't a sport." = Contentious, and potentially offensive to anybody who plays table tennis competitively.

    So I guess I'm just saying that everybody's entitled to their own interpretation of their language, but can and should refer to the context-based consensual definitions of certain statements or terms, and demonstrate appropriate sensitivity to these when presenting their own interpretations. (same applies to a majority asserting their definition in the presence of a divergent minority, except here the majority could be forgiven for not realising that another interpretation exists if it is obscure, individual and not easily recogniseable or predictable in that context)

    So maybe my point isn't relating to whether a definition is right or wrong, but about other factors in the communicative process. I remember my English Literature lecturer tried to explain the philosophy of General Semantics to me at A level and used an example of a wife getting very angry at a comment made by her husband, as a result of their attaching two very seperate meanings to the comment. Meaning is individual, but enough of it is broadly consensual for there to be certain prescriptive norms and obligations.
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    (Original post by ukebert)

    I love things like that. You can apply the same argument to beauty, and even morality, and annoy the hell out of loads of purists
    Neither beauty nor morality have a fixed or consensual meaning in the way that 'sport' does (arguments about the nature of 'sport' aside here).
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    I have no objection to you analysing it as such, as long as this isn't then appropriated as an intellectualised justification by which to get away with making a statement or observation that will very obviously prove either contentious or offensive in a particular context.

    For instance:
    a) "For me, climbing the stairs in my house is a sport." = Contentious and false, but not exactly something that is likely to offend anybody.
    b) "Table tennis isn't a sport." = Contentious, and potentially offensive to anybody who plays table tennis competitively.
    I squirm at your use of "false", because even though sentence (a) is presumably flippant, the "for me" qualifier is the same as saying "in my particular take on the language," so the sentence semantically works for a possible imaginary speaker, if not pragmatically. But that aside, I think the problem is that sometimes people don't know what the interpretation of a given word is in the population at large, and that's why the definition of the word appears quirky in their individual take on the language. Ultimately, it's likely that in this case people will be aware of different possible definitions, and this is why I said table tennis was "arguably" a sport - meaning that it depends on the defintion of sport you happen to use. I didn't intend it to be insulting, I was just alluding to semantic variation and how this relates to the fact I don't do any activities I consider to be sports. I probably was aware that this could be interpreted differently, but was intending to clarify if need be. And my knowledge of other definitions isn't exactly pefect - I find the idea of sports having to be physically demanding pretty alien actually, and so any offence was unintentional.
    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    So I guess I'm just saying that everybody's entitled to their own interpretation of their language, but can and should refer to the context-based consensual definitions of certain statements or terms, and demonstrate appropriate sensitivity to these when presenting their own interpretations. (same applies to a majority asserting their definition in the presence of a divergent minority, except here the majority could be forgiven for not realising that another interpretation exists if it is obscure, individual and not easily recogniseable or predictable in that context)

    So maybe my point isn't relating to whether a definition is right or wrong, but about other factors in the communicative process. Like my English Literature lecturer tried to explain the philosophy of General Semantics to me at A level and used an example of a wife getting very angry at a comment made by her husband, as a result of their attaching two very seperate meanings to the comment. Meaning is individual, but enough of it is broadly consensual for there to be certain prescriptive norms and obligations.
    Going back to the fact that people don't always know these prescriptive norms - this is why you get arguments about the definitions of things. There's also the assumption that there should be any one normal use, when it's perfectly possible for there to be several equally common forms. But when people don't know what's right, frequency of use doesn't come into it - they just use the language as they know it.
    (Original post by Nina)
    Neither beauty nor morality have a fixed or consensual meaning in the way that 'sport' does (arguments about the nature of 'sport' aside here).
    Hmm, I'd say they do. There's some variation in the definition of all three words, anyway.
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    The difference is that beauty and morality have accepted variable interpretations, whereas sport doesn't in the same way.
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    All of this is far too intellectual for me.

    How about we stop debating and start discussing Christmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaas?
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    (Original post by Llamaaa)
    How about we stop debating and start discussing ********
    Do not mention that word in my presence until the 4th :reaper: :p:
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Do not mention that word in my presence until the 4th :reaper: :p:
    I'm sorry.

    Let's all talk about snoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooow
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    (Original post by Llamaaa)
    I'm sorry.

    Let's all talk about snoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooow
    Snow, snow,
    it is cold and white and falls from the skyyyyyyyy.
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    Meant to be meeting people to go to Sidney formal in 5 minutes. Need to get in the bathroom first to do my hair and makeup grrrr
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    ok despite the chat about snow, i love cambridge! have just been really unproductive and feeling rubbish (have done nothing today) so i decided to go and talk to some people i live with, ended up having a really good philosophical, intellectual discussion about languages and now im really inspired/motivated to work!

    could hardly ever do that in school, but its so easy here =D
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    (Original post by Llamaaa)
    All of this is far too intellectual for me.

    How about we stop debating and start discussing Christmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaas?
    Can we not? :p: Bah humbug etc. but I think they hype surrounding Christmas a little unseemly. The excitement of getting presents has long since worn off, and I much prefer to think of it as a time to meet friends and family and eat an inordinate amount of food. So many of the baggage that Christmas tows behind it irritates me immensely.

    (Original post by Nina)
    Neither beauty nor morality have a fixed or consensual meaning in the way that 'sport' does (arguments about the nature of 'sport' aside here).
    Not to the same extent, no. And I admit that arguing that beauty is in the eye of the beholder is not quite as radical as arguing that table tennis isn't a sport :p:
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    (Original post by Supergrunch)
    Going back to the fact that people don't always know these prescriptive norms - this is why you get arguments about the definitions of things. There's also the assumption that there should be any one normal use, when it's perfectly possible for there to be several equally common forms. But when people don't know what's right, frequency of use doesn't come into it - they just use the language as they know it.
    I don't disagree with the overall assessment of language and vocabulary, but as I said - I do think 'sport' is an instance of a widely agreed-upon term. And no it doesn't have to involve high levels of physical activity, as you pointed out.

    With regards to the observations as a whole, I think this issue of meanings and interpretations being individual is extremely exaggerated. I think we now talk about interpretation as problematic as a direct influence of the post-modernist movement. In every day life, occasionally there is confusion and somebody feels the need to define something more clearly, or to assert an individual interpretation of a word, but overall communication works pretty damn well, and has done for all of our recorded knowledge of human society. I don't dispute the truth that there are subtle differences, and personal interpretations and 'quirks' as you say, if you choose to hold a magnifying glass over much of human expression and communication, however I think this is really blown out of proportion. I think that people do manage to store up enough social knowledge to predict and employ meaning within communication with sufficient accuracy to communicate with sophisticated depth constantly!
    'these arguments about the definitions of things' are more present and immediate in our current awareness as a result of pervasive post-modern influence. Rather than attacking the movement as a whole, I'm just suggesting that some of the related focal points weren't really such an issue beforehand, and may cease to be as prominent in the future.
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    (Original post by Lidka)
    The opposite end to Kelsey Kerridge, just before the railway bridge and opposite The White Swan pub. It's a big green supermarket, you can't miss it. Go in, go down on the right, past the vegetables and the "Spice and Rice" () room, and there's a counter with fresh curries and bhajis and falafel. I think Arjuna's also does fresh falafel - that's closer to Kelsey Kerridge. Café Paris on Mill Road does really nice falafel baguettes, too. I like falafel.

    Now, am I talking to Rosy, or are you just someone else at Homerton who does Spanish and Arabic? :p:
    yes you're talking to me. Lidia who does English at Clare! lol funny when you meet people in real life and then you realise you know them on the internet. this happened to me when i arrived at boarding school i realised later that a lot of my friends i'd met previously on girland.com

    but anyway, thanks so much for the directions and tips, i definitely will head there soon!
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    (Original post by Llamaaa)
    I'm sorry.

    Let's all talk about snoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooow
    That is certainly a marked improvement :five:
    (Original post by lavalse)
    ...ended up having a really good philosophical, intellectual discussion about languages..
    Fantastic! You're in the perfect position to join our conversation :teeth:
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    (Original post by ukebert)
    Can we not? :p: Bah humbug etc. but I think they hype surrounding Christmas a little unseemly. The excitement of getting presents has long since worn off, and I much prefer to think of it as a time to meet friends and family and eat an inordinate amount of food. So many of the baggage that Christmas tows behind it irritates me immensely.
    Scrooooooooooooooooooooge.

    How can the joy of getting presents wear off? I hope you aren't going to minimo's christmas party... a christmas party with someone who doesn't like christmas sounds suicide-inducing :p:
 
 
 
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