[Ads-l] consensus and concensus and 100%?

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 19 08:48:34 EST 2016


I would never use "consensus" to mean unanimity of opinion. I go back to
the Quaker consensus of the meeting, which means unanimity of support for
the decision, whether you 100% share it or not.

On Dec 19, 2016 5:52 AM, "Stephen Goranson" <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:

> Definitions may vary--e.g., OED, consensus, n. 2a. "Agreement in opinion;
> the collective unanimous opinion of a number of persons"-- but to say that
> "by definition, a consensus is not one hundred percent" is false, because a
> consensus is often 100%.
>
>
> Stephen
>
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <...> on behalf of Salikoko S. Mufwene <...>
> Sent: Monday, December 19, 2016 5:33 AM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.ED...
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] consensus and concensus and 100%?
>
> Merriam-Webster online gives the following primary definitions:
>
> "1. a :  general agreement :  unanimity <the consensus of their opinion,
> based on reports … from the border — John Hersey>
>        b :  the judgment arrived at by most of those concerned <the
> consensus was to go ahead>"
>
> May there be variation? "general agreement" is not "complete agreement."
> Neither is "complete agreement" suggested by "most of those concerned,"
> although "unanimity" seems to support your observation. Is this one of
> those cases when a negligible minority of disagreements may be
> overlooked, for all intents and purposes? I wonder whether even the
> etymological interpretation of the term requires a 100% agreement. The
> French dictionary /Le Robert/ is more consistent with the NY Times
> writer, providing definitions with 'several' and 'the majority'.
>
> Sali.
>
> On 12/19/2016 3:39 AM, Stephen Goranson wrote:
> > A NY Times article on a disputed claim that a manuscript is by Beethoven
> ends with:
> >
> > "The buyer should understand that there are very few pieces of art or
> music that do not have any negative views about their genesis," Mr. Spencer
> said. "He is, in essence, buying a consensus of expert opinion. And by
> definition, a consensus is not 100 percent."
> >
> >
> > But a consensus by definition is complete agreement.
> >
> > I wonder whether Spencer was thinking of concensus, a common misspelling.
> >
> >
> > https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.
> nytimes.com_2016_12_18_arts_music_as-2Dprices-2Dfor-
> 2Dclassical-2Dscores-2Dsoar-2Done-2Dbeethoven-2Dis-2Din-
> 2Dquestion.html-3Fmodule-3DWatchingPortal-26region-3Dc-
> 2Dcolumn-2Dmiddle-2Dspan-2Dregion-26pgType-3DHomepage-
> 26action-3Dclick-26mediaId-3Dthumb-5Fsquare-26state-
> 3Dstandard-26contentPlacement-3D4-26version-3Dinternal-
> 26contentCollection-3Dwww.nytimes.com-26contentId-
> 3Dhttp-253A-252F-252Fwww.nytimes.com-252F2016-252F12-
> 252F18-252Farts-252Fmusic-252Fas-2Dprices-2Dfor-
> 2Dclassical-2Dscores-2Dsoar-2Done-2Dbeethoven-2Dis-2Din-
> 2Dquestion.html-26eventName-3DWatching-2Darticle-2Dclick&d=CwID-g&c=
> imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-
> 8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=Ia_iaSOAY40vQopyt2uaRYfXERtVxKjJ4
> nNzUDRihdQ&s=1QRQuy1KOW1lQwgkwxfW9QckcwM-XJSAjFthQ5Q84LA&e=
> >
> >
> > Stephen Goranson
> >
> > http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/
> ><https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-
> 3A__www.americandialect.org&d=CwID-g&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6Y
> HLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=Ia_
> iaSOAY40vQopyt2uaRYfXERtVxKjJ4nNzUDRihdQ&s=W6Qee7oGu7lTQy91Fw6DQ55-
> pZp22VplsaaZ78eGvBo&e=>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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>

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