Nobody's Perfect Dept.

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sat Dec 16 03:55:05 UTC 2006

LOL. Maybe we should follow your innovative lead and all start babbling
syntactically, semantically, and orthographically challenged nonsense.

I recall now that I briefly studied pragmatics in my first general
linguistics class. The discussion went something along the lines that a
pragmatic assumption of discourse is that the other party is trying to
impart a message in a truthful, non-contradicting manner. This causes
people to go great lengths to try to unravel and clarify items that do
not make sense. When it becomes apparent that the other party is not
following the same set of assumptions, the first party becomes angry or
frustrated. I assume this is a great tact for con artists, then, as they
then gain a window to commit the con even after the first party has
figured out something is fishy.

It seems trolling creates a wonderful opportunity to explore social
pragmatics, as evidenced by the amazing quantity of confusion that only
a few e-mails here and there can create.

Tom Zurinskas wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Tom Zurinskas <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Nobody's Perfect Dept.
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>  >  For lurkers, a phoneme is the smallest contrastive notional unit of
> sound that may affect meaning in a given language
> This is not a good definition.  I've never seen one with "may" in it.  That
> also means it "may not" as well.  And if it does both, why mentioin it.
> Makes no sense.
> You should clarify what "lurker" means.  As I understand it a lurker is one
> who is reading emails, but has not commented as yet.  It reflects nothing on
> their expertise or intent.
> Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL4+
> See and the 4 truespel books at

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