3.865 etc. continued (42)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Mon, 18 Dec 89 21:27:49 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 865. Monday, 18 Dec 1989.

Date: Mon, 18 Dec 89 07:35:47 EST
From: BRODY Florian <U3011VAA@AWIUNI11>
Subject: Re: 3.845 etc. (88)

I am not a native English speaker - etc is available in German too I
cannot agree with restrictive approaches - (it is a military approach
like "don't say YES, say YES SIR" etc.)

The main question is the availability of tools in a language for
definite and indefinite description. Language is trimmed in a way
allowing only definite statements. Thus including a certain demand for
safety and correctness: what the speaker says is what he means or at
least what he wants to say (Must we mean what we say?)

If you see language not as a software handshake or some sort of
communication in the sense Shannon (1945) describes it, but as a means
for the orientation in a cotectual environement (check Maturana for the
correct quotation in English) you need elements to express open ends,
unfinished thoughts, ideas that need more thinking (by the speaker
and/or the hearer) etc etc.

Even worse: The belief that one has said everything - that one's
statement is exhaustive is a sign for a bad writer/thinker.

etc. can be misued as much as any other word to shade missing knowledge.


etc. /// please include your comments here


F. Brody -- Austrian Nat'l Library, Vienna