[Ads-l] Cancel Culture

Chris Waigl chris at LASCRIBE.NET
Fri Feb 5 21:43:52 EST 2021


On Fri, Feb 5, 2021 at 10:59 AM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
wrote:

> How about "a putative unjust or unethical partisan movement to suppress
> opposing political views"?
>

This definition doesn't attach to anything I recognize.

What you seem to be trying to do is akin to trying to define, say, racial
hygiene as "as set of policy ideas intended by those who subscribed to them
to discourage the mixing of races and the presence of disabled people" ...
without reference to genocidal forms of white supremacy.

That is, the meaning of terms like SJW, political correctness, cancel
culture, welfare queen etc. emerges less from their denotative force - as
referring to some definable, objective entity or situation - but in their
illocutionary (if I'm using the term correctly) force as marking the
speaker as subscribing to some identifiable ideological framework. If you
want to define them I think you need to name that framework.

Of course part of the public debate is about whether certain terms are, in
fact, denotative or the kind of fighting words I described. I'm sure some
would claim that words like patriarchy, military-industrial complex,
allyship ... belong in the same category. It's our job as thinking members
of society to listen to the arguments and take position. I could, for
example, read an article deploring the effects of patriarchy and find it
convincing (that is, I sort "patriarchy" in the category of denotative,
useful terms and am willing to provide a definition and context), but then
read one that deplores the effects of cancel culture, or argues for racial
hygiene, and come to the opposite conclusion (that is, I find the writer's
framework unconvincing, or do not share underlying values and goals that
would lend these terms sufficient context to be useful ... I'm pretty sure
for 1930s Nazis the term racial hygiene was subjectively very useful).

Chris





>
> Getting  closer?
>
> JL
>
> On Fri, Feb 5, 2021 at 2:50 PM Dennis During <dcduring at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > If it is predominantly used disparagingly about anything, however vague
> the
> > targets and however unfair the disparagement, then the intent of
> > disparagement is part of its meaning, as is the case for 'political
> > correctness', 'social justice warrior' ("SJW") and similar terms.
> Currently
> > in the US 'fascism' and its sister terms 'fascist', 'neo-fascist', etc
> and,
> > probably 'communism' and its relatives are similarly predominantly used
> > disparagingly. 'Socialism' not so much.
> >
> > The phenomena disparaged by the use of the term 'cancel culture' seem to
> > include principally the boycotts, including secondary boycotts,
> facilitated
> > by social media, of businesses, especially consumer-oriented ones, and of
> > entertainment personalities because they are deemed to violate some moral
> > imperative, usually under the rubric of 'social justice' (a term which,
> > unlike SJW, is not predominantly pejorative). I think both the deeming
> and
> > the boycotting are the objects of the disparagement intended by use of
> the
> > term 'cancel.culture'.
> >
> > On Fri, Feb 5, 2021 at 2:19 PM Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > > On Feb 5, 2021, at 8:36 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
> >
> > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > "Cancel culture" has broadened its meaning to become "a movement to
> > > > suppress opposing political views.”
> > >
> > > Or, as an alternate gloss, ‘a movement to hold individuals accountable
> > for
> > > their actions and publicly stated views’. To demote a member who has
> > > expressed racist threats is not precisely an instance of opposing their
> > > political views.
> > >
> > > I’m also unclear on the scope--Do we really want to classify
> > > denazification in Germany (= 'the process of bringing the leaders of
> the
> > > National Socialist regime in Germany to justice and of purging all
> > elements
> > > of Nazism from public life, carried out especially between 1945 and
> > 1948’)
> > > merely an instance of cancel culture, i.e. the Allies’ suppressing
> > opposing
> > > political views? Maybe I’m not sure what “cancel culture” meant before
> it
> > > was broadened; it’s always reminded me of the use of “political
> > > correctness” to dismiss or ridicule those protesting hate speech or
> > threats
> > > of violence.
> > >
> > > LH
> > >
> > > >
> > > > E.g., from Yahoo! News:
> > > >
> > > > "The former Trump and Bush adviser said the decision to root out
> > > extremism
> > > > in the military was 'cancel culture' and then disparaged Mr Biden's
> > pick
> > > > for Secretary of Defense by claiming he was likely hired solely
> because
> > > he
> > > > is Black."
> > > >
> > > > JL
> > > >
> > > > On Wed, Aug 19, 2020 at 2:19 PM Jonathan Lighter <
> > wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com
> > > >
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> CNN chyron:
> > > >>
> > > >> "Trump Wants To Cancel Goodyear."
> > > >>
> > > >> He wants us to boycott it.
> > > >>
> > > >> JL
> > > >>
> > > >> On Fri, Jul 31, 2020 at 10:26 PM ADSGarson O'Toole <
> > > >> adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > >>
> > > >>> Bill Mullins wrote:
> > > >>>> Earlier in Twitter -- Oct 28, 2016:
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>> https://twitter.com/unicorninkk/status/792025338616418304
> > > >>>> "I hate cancel culture until I want to set things on fire! "
> > > >>>
> > > >>> Worthwhile topic, Fred. Great citation, Bill.
> > > >>> I initiated a germane thread back in May 2019.
> > > >>>
> > > >>> [Ads-l] Word/Phrase: cancel, cancel culture, cancellation culture
> > > >>>
> > http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2019-May/154643.html
> > > >>>
> > > >>> The mailing list message included some tweets with the phrase: "You
> > > >>> have been cancelled". The precise meaning was not always clear. The
> > > >>> tweet citations begin on Nov 22 2008.
> > > >>>
> > > >>> Dave Wilton initiated a pertinent thread in February 2020.
> > > >>>
> > > >>> [Ads-l] Cancel culture, cancel (2018)
> > > >>>
> > >
> >
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2020-February/156597.html
> > > >>>
> > > >>> John Baker mentioned the Mashable.com article dated Nov 18, 2017
> > which
> > > >>> was referenced in a tweet.
> > > >>>
> > >
> >
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2020-February/156598.html
> > > >>>
> > > >>> Dave Wilton presented a tweet together with a reply tweet that
> > > >>> exhibited the desired sense on Feb 8, 2017.
> > > >>>
> > >
> >
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2020-February/156599.html
> > > >>> https://twitter.com/DougieFresh818/status/829410105502400513
> > > >>> https://twitter.com/chazzsplash/status/829410413091631105
> > > >>>
> > > >>> The tweet found by Bill Mullins appears to be the earliest
> currently
> > > >>> mentioned on this mailing list.
> > > >>>
> > > >>> Garson
> > > >>>
> > > >>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > >>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> > > >>>
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >> --
> > > >> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> > > truth."
> > > >>
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > --
> > > > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> > > truth."
> > > >
> > > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> > >
> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> > >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Dennis C. During
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
>
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>


-- 
Chris Waigl . chris.waigl at gmail.com . chris at lascribe.net
http://eggcorns.lascribe.net . http://chryss.eu

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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