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Re: [ontolog-forum] What words mean

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Christopher Spottiswoode" <cms@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2008 17:30:52 +0200
Message-id: <063301c87243$41ad4970$0100a8c0@Dev>
Paola,    (01)

You had commented on this paragraph from an earlier post by me::    (02)

>>     As Pope said (Alexander, that is), "The proper study of
>>     mankind is man."  Already, of course, "the Sabbath [as
>>     other ideologies] was made for man."  The Existentialists
>>     also had a word or two to say on the matter.    (03)

Then John Sowa treated us to his usual marvellous perspective and good
sense, in this case on the subject of PC.  Your response included
this:    (04)

> I knew when I wrote 'political correctness' that it might be a
> controversial expression (cant win apparently)
> I am aware of the trail behind it (which I am not going to dig in,
> as I agree that PC can get out of hand) however I think it conveyed
> the intended meaning: the point was understood  (the word 'man'
> intended to point to humanity reflects a male-centric view of the
> world, and may show lack of consideration for women who feel
> they are a separate gender)    (05)

Ah, I must confess that I had only very briefly wondered if "man" in
an obviously genderless context was the problem you had had in mind,
before I concluded that it had been the mention of ideology which had
triggered your warning.  Stupid me for having so apparently glibly
assumed that the illustriousness of the quotes together with their
age, centuries in the one case, millenia in the other, would preclude
any inclination to take such offence!  The ACM reviewers of a paper I
once submitted with the same "proper study of mankind" quote had no
problem with it, and they did both compliment the paper for being
well-written.  One had even much enjoyed the references to Alexander
Pope and others remote from IT.    (06)

But, seriously, what do you suggest one does in such cases?  For
example, every issue of the journal Nature restates their mission from
1859, but it uses the same dread word in the same sense, so now they
append a "[sic]".  So while I might have chosen a different
translation for the quote about the sabbath, should I have modified
the Pope quote with a couple of "[sic]"s?  Or paraphrased it since it
was already out of its rhyming couplet context?  Or should Nature and
the rest of us just keep right away from all such quotes?    (07)

Hmmm, I think I'll take the same chance next time, even though I do
seem rather to tend to tread inadvertently on sensitive corns!    (08)

But still, please don't stop making whatever comment crops up in your
mind on reading my apparently confusing material.    (09)

(Or else you could just wait until I start connecting up all the dots,
at this stage seemingly scattered so randomly, with no coherent plan
staring my readers in the face just yet...)    (010)

Christopher    (011)

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