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  • Wednesday, April 02, 2008

    Right After Riding the Judge Roy Scream
    By Sean Ripple

    Did you use the word to enlighten or were you seeking to make a distinction between your understanding and mine? It's not like I have a dictionary in hand for every unfamiliar adjective or term that somebody throws my way in conversation.

    I was being succinct. You could have just asked me what the word meant if you didn't understand it.

    If we were talking about a scientific or mathematical concept or even some concept related to a skill, I'd have no problem asking you to define a word I didn't know, but we were talking about a character in a movie. Why not communicate in a less high-flown or showy manner about something so insignificant? If I have to ask you to explain what you mean by a specific word, then hasn't the point of using it to communicate succinctly been undermined? If you want to say that you felt the main character, after being horribly injured, displayed a deep respect for life's divinity in a way that rang false to you, then why not say that…this as opposed to trying to stuff a great deal of meaning into a five syllable word.

    Using your logic, why wouldn't I break down every word to a more essential point?

    Why don't you?

    Because that's ridiculous… worthy of being laughed at… we use words to put a cap on experience in an attempt to make sense of it. Breaking words down to ever smaller units of understanding is like mistaking the forest for the decomposing pine needles.

    Well I think the use of showy words is tied to a need to dominate others... the more difficult or obscure the word used is, the stronger the desire of the user to dominate an other's understanding. Rather than adopting the purposely difficult language used by literary fetishists and cinephiles and critics of both literary works and film, I think you should be vigilant in breaking your words down so that anyone might be able to participate in the discussion should they want to.

    Feel better now?

    Yeah, let's go get some funnel cake.

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