violence = 'personal or social domination of any kind'

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Nov 13 20:48:33 UTC 2010

I think they are saying the D, but some may not be.  The First Amendment
says it's cool.


On Sat, Nov 13, 2010 at 3:46 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at>wrote:

> Victor, you may be right. But the jargon of the "postmodernist" (a broad
> category, BTW) is endemic to the liberal arts, or was until very recently
> after a run of about thirty years.
> Like you I doubt that much of it should go into a desk dictionary, but my
> eye is always on OED, which supposedly includes everything of any
> interest. I circulated among grad students who lived and breathed this
> stuff. To pass over postmodern usages in silence would be akin to doing the
> same for Freud and Jung. (Who at least didn't try to redefine common words
> as their opposites, and who, unlike the PMs, didn't seem to be angry or
> obstructionist all the time.)
> And to clarify generally, once again, I don't insist that the exx. I post
> are necessarily significant, merely that they have that potential. Even if
> "litigate," for example, was little more than a slip of the tongue, it shows
> the strength of certain associations that the word has attracted: tedium,
> length, pointlessness, arbitrariness. A strange array, when you stop to
> think about it. When enough people make similar slips, an
> additional definition emerges, like it or not.
> JL
> On Sat, Nov 13, 2010 at 2:17 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at>wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
>> Subject:      Re: violence = 'personal or social domination of any kind'
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> I am not sure how seriously you may want to consider to update language
>> dictionaries based on post-modernist usage. Such basic words as "power",
>> "gift", "other" will need updates then as well. Perhaps it's best to
>> leave these to jargon dictionaries--philosophy, critical theory,
>> sociology, anthropology, cognitive science.
>>     VS-)
>> On 11/13/2010 9:19 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>> > Not in OED but common among postmodern sociologists:
>> >
>> > 1990 Pierre Bourdieu _The Logic of Practice_  (R. Nice, trans.)
>> [Stanford:
>> > Stanford U. P.] 127: [O]vert violence, that of the usurer or the
>> ruthless
>> > master, is collectively disapproved of and is liable to provoke either a
>> > violent riposte or the flight of the victim.
>> >
>> > The French text was written in 1980.
>> > JL
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
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> --
>  "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> truth."

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