Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Jul 16 15:38:15 UTC 2007

>  >Sounds like the not-quite precisely synonymous "deliberate" would work
>>better. "Intentional" sounds plain wrong to me.
>>   JL
>>Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU> wrote:
>>   ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>Sender: American Dialect Society
>>Poster: Charles Doyle
>>Subject: intentional
>>A syndicated column appearing in this morning's newspaper contained an odd
>>use (or so it seemed to me) of the word "intentional."
>>The writer is Leonard Pitts (and it's an admirable column!): "Have we lost
>>that much capacity to be serious and intentional about our own lives and
>>futures?" (_Athens [GA] Banner-Herald_, A6). That sense of the
>>word--something like 'purposeful'--doesn't quite match any of the meanings
>>recorded in the OED, though it resembles some esoteric uses in
>>philosophical discourse.
>  ~~~~~~~~~~
>"Intentional" sounds quite normal to me in this sort of context.  One of my
>daughters lives in a so-called "intentional community" formed over 50 years
>ago by Quakers & like-minded people.   I think the meaning is more like
>'attentive' or 'aware' than 'purposeful.'  Think not 'unintentional.'
Is that what it means?  I always understood "intentional community"
to allude to the idea that the group in question has agreed
consciously, with full intention, to live together (usually according
to various principles and such), rather than just being thrown
together the way most communities arise.  Here's AHD4:

A small, localized, often rural community of persons or families
pursuing common interests or concentrating on certain basic values.

If _intentional_ is 'Done on purpose, resulting from intention;
intended' (OED 2), "intentional community" is reasonably transparent,
although I would think it has earned an entry or subentry in the OED,
which it hasn't yet.  (Was the Oneida Community the first to employ
or fall under this label?  Since there's no OED entry, we can't check


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