Saturday, October 01, 2005

Impugning words

Here is an interesting discussion by Jeff Goldstein on language, intent, and interpretation.
Linguistically speaking, we have but two choices: either insist language be ground in the intentions of its utterers, or else conclude that we must each be responsible, in perpetuity, for whatever might be done with our utterance once it leaves our control. ... And if our goal is to hash out policy or to discuss potentially controversial issues, we simply must be able to do so without worry that parties invested in maintaining the status quo are allowed to silence us by assuming control over the terms of debate. [emphasis in original]

Too bad someone else's sensitivities can shut us all up.

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