Thursday, May 17, 2012

Emphasis

  • Fred may be bald, but he's not bald (he's got ten hairs).
  • The biologists may know a lot of biological facts, but the mathematicians know a lot of mathematical facts.
  • The roasted chicken may be healthy, but it's not healthy (it's dead).
What's the emphasis doing? I think it's some sort of narrowing of the semantic fence around the paradigm cases and the focal meaning.

2 comments:

Dagmara Lizlovs said...

Fred may be bald, but he's not bald (he's got ten hairs). This one is actually quite easy. I think the correct term is that Fred is "hair challenged". That should cover both being bald and having ten hairs quite well. Now about the biologist and matmematician, ditto for doctors and medical facts, pilots and airplane facts, engineers and engineering facts etc. etc. As for the roasted chicken being healthy, but it's not healthy (it's dead). Would you like to eat a live chicken? A live chicken, especially a rooster, is capable of fighting back with the spurs on its heals (prime weapons of wild tom turkeys and those things are pretty sharp and wicked). The result can be some nasty wounds. Also, its hard enough to pluck them while they are dead. I don't think anyone would care to do the job if they are alive. This is why I prefer wild geese to chicken. In Maryland we have four goose seasons, for Canadian geese we have the early resident season, then we have the regualar migratory season, followed by a late resident season. Then we have a Snow Goose conservation season in the spring with no bag limits on Snow Geese. I find it best to shoot a healthy goose first before I eat it. My Remmington 11-87 is perfect for the job. I most definately would not attempt to eat a live healthy Canada goose nor to attempt to pluck one while it is still alive. Those birds will definately attack you and are capable fighters. Snow geese are even more agressive. I shoot a healthy goose, Black Cloud BB shot works best, and freeze the meat right away. That's the best way to go in order to eat a healthy roasted fowl. Actually wild goose is best slow cooked in a crockpot. There is just about no fat, and the all meat is alot like red meat. The best part is crunching on a steel shot pellet or two.

Jonni said...

The first statement sounds like a classic example of "loose use" where a community has two ways of using a word which allows for the kind of narrowing of the semantic fence as you put it, according to the dictates of context.

The second case made me think that we speak of people who _know_ facts because they can rattle them off (they are committed to memory) and another kind of knowledge which comes of commiting certain principles and explanatory paradigms to memory which then allows for the generation of less basic facts on demand. However, I think we are commonly mistaken about the (epistemic?) priority of mathematics to physics,...so if it were physicists rather than biologists I think the "narrowing" would be less clear to me.

The third statement is just very vague in the first phrase,... do you mean that it is healthy (AKA was healthy in life and therefore is fat and juicy looking, contains no strange hormones) or that it is good to eat (part of a ideal diet for someone who desires to be healthy)...?