Saturday, April 21, 2012
The science of analysis of language is dying. Over the last few weeks, what I write has been misinterpreted by otherwise intelligent people not a few times. That seems to be because they interpolate and extrapolate without sufficient justification.
I do try very hard to be careful with my words. However, in the past this has led to accusations of deviousness.
This is how it happens: I say or write something. Somebody else interprets it wrongly, looks stupid. Blames me for what I didn't say. Is shocked when I defend myself and then accuses me of being devious by laying a trap in my words for people to fall into...
Sigh. There is almost always a very good reason for putting my thoughts in such a form — I deliberately avoid saying things I don't mean or which I cannot verify; I use phrases like 'seems to be' or 'might imply that' when the degree of certainty is not as firm as I would prefer it to be.