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Bonus words!

Bonus word 1: "logomachy"</b>

From a good comment in Scalzi's blog. [personal profile] bcholmes pointed at it elsenet.

Xopher on September 7, 2011 - 4:36 pm

John, I learned the word ‘logomachy’ to describe that kind of thing: trying to win an argument by controlling the terms of the argument, or by outlawing the terms needed by the other side(s) to make their points.

It’s a tactic some employ consciously, and others without quite realizing it.
Scalzi's original post is worth reading too. It's entitled "Shut Up and Listen," which I think is excellent advice for many situations. (In this particular situation, it's being applied to conversations about oppression and privilege.)

Bonus word 2 (from the blog post): "wealthsplaining"

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/744129.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 8th, 2011 05:58 am (UTC)
Oh, and what does that remind me of... (scratches chin) Hmmmmm.
Sep. 8th, 2011 11:48 am (UTC)
Oh, I like 'wealthsplaining.'
Sep. 8th, 2011 12:26 pm (UTC)
I can see this as a negative term too, but you know, I also think it's simply human. Words are what we fight with (mainly, and better than the alternatives) and hence sometimes for.

Am I anti-abortion or pro-choice? Well, actually I'm both, but that position is obscured because each side has chosen a term with more appeal.

That's just one example. I forget who said it, but something I quote often is, "With animals, it is eat or be eaten. With human beings, it is define or be defined."

So the worst wars are when one side tries to pick the word for the other--which, alas, Republicans are much better at than Democrats. Death tax. These words have real power,and I wish we fought against them better.

And no, I'm not missing the point; I'm enlarging on it. Logomachy does interfere with discussing the substance of what's going on, but I think often it's not just something ancillary or willful, though it's easy to see it that way.
Sep. 8th, 2011 05:41 pm (UTC)
When it comes to racial issues, I'm happy to shut up and listen to a person of color, but if it's another white person, I'm more likely to argue.
Sep. 8th, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC)
Same here.
Sep. 8th, 2011 06:45 pm (UTC)
What's interesting is how much controversy Scalzi's blog post is bringing elsewhere... A few of my friends-of-friends have commented (on Facebook) that Scalzi's being a privileged white male just by writing that blog entry.

The thing is, first of all, some would-be allies learn better from other allies, and that can be a stepping stone to actual constructive conversation with the population involved.

So, I think that allies have their place in that order of things... it just tends not to be in instructing the population-of-concern. If we're going to be upset that someone speaks about being a privileged white male, the thing is... His audience is exactly that.

And secondly... It's his BLOG. A blog is exactly the right space for one to take such matters. It's nt like he is standing up in the middle of Racism-101 and derailing all the threads with his own epiphanies.

Sep. 8th, 2011 06:51 pm (UTC)
I agree with you.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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