RE: Information

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Thu May 10 2001 - 10:26:56 BST

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: Information
    Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 10:26:56 +0100
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            Sorry to butt in, but this line does draw one's attention-

    > >>The best way to use any word is entirely a matter of opinion.
            I agree with Wade, although I suspect it's a matter of clarifying
    your meaning. IF you mean that there are no absolutely correct, or neutral,
    ways in which to use words, then that's fine. IF you mean that words don't
    have intrinsic meaning (a bit like Wittgenstein's stuff) then that's fine
    also. BUT I don't think either of these possibilities allows the value
    judgement that "best" word usage, which is an unclear notion anyway, is

            Word usage is a product of cultural convention, and thus some terms
    are, at the very least, more appropriate in some contexts and less so in
    others. Wanting to use a term in a way that goes against cultural
    conventions as to that word's appropriate usage/meaning (dare I mention
    mysticism.... perhaps I shouldn't), isn't a matter of opinion (or rather its
    likely success as a new usage isn't). Plus one could add, that struggles
    for definitional control are ongoing, with some parts of society
    (government, say, or the church) having vested interests and significant
    resources in ensuring that the way events are represented fit their
    interests (instead of civilian casualties, it's collateral damage, instead
    of killing people on the same side it's friendly fire, instead of a
    depression it's a market correction or slowdown etc. etc.).

            I'm sure this is well off this very long thread, that I've only been
    following loosely since I haven't had time lately to give the list the
    attention it deserves. So, if this is treading old ground, then feel free
    to ignore.


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