Monumental Lesson in Paraphrasing


Monumental lesson in paraphrasing


Perhaps "A drum major for justice, peace and righteousness" would have been more appropriate conveying the sentiments of his admirers rather than of Martin Luther King Jr. himself.

Mohinder Bhatnagar

Posted on Mon, 10/31/2011 - 5:21am

Dawn McIlvain Stahl's picture

I agree.

Dawn McIlvain Stahl

I definitely think using the personal pronoun is the problem, and I like your solution -- short, clear, meaningful, appropriate. Thanks for the comment!

Posted on Tue, 11/01/2011 - 9:43am

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The argument that "we" are the arbiters of what is language is true only if we are speaking of the descriptive dictionary, because that dictionary (MW 11, for example) describes how we use language and doesn't tell us how we should be using language.

A second problem with the "we" position is that it basically says language is whatever we want it to be whenever we want it to be something -- the Humpty Dumpty approach:

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"'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

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'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all.'"
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In other words, if we do not accept the dictionary as the definer of what a word means, cara memutihkan badan then language anarchy ensues and communication stops. All of us rely on our ability to understand what another person is saying by using agreed upon (albeit subconsciously) definitions that are arbitrated by dictionaries.
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