Re: "claim", etc. (was Re: C Standard Regarding Null Pointer Dereferencing)
- From: Shao Miller <sha0.miller@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 31 Jul 2010 17:08:24 -0700 (PDT)
On Jul 31, 4:13 pm, blm...@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <blm...@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
In article <ee0d5533-2ac2-46fb-9be7-6c341904a...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,By all means, that's a worthy cause. :)
Shao Miller <sha0.mil...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Jul 30, 11:03 am, blm...@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <blm...@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
In article <__mdnYamw8-m5dbRnZ2dnUVZ7q-dn...@xxxxxx>,
Richard Heathfield <r...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Shao Miller wrote:
Is it possible that "claims" could be injected with additional meaning
by the reader but not by the writer?
Yes, of course, and there's nothing the writer can do about that.
I would be inclined, in this situation, to try to explicitly defuse
the negative connotations of "claims" -- something like "he claims
to be an expert, and he may very well be one -- I don't know enough
to judge". ?
If a person receives an electric shock every time one reads "claims,"
that is sufficient reason to avoid using it around such a person.
Other such reasons and words are possible, and none of my business to
argue about, but to try to respect, instead.
An "insider's" perspective on the use of "claims to have" versus "has"
might very well perceive a negative connotation. I did not, and thus
didn't intend it. Consider an "outsider's" perspective which might
simply use "claims" as part of describing a logical reasoning
process. Statements can make a claim, sound or unsound. To use "has"
instead of "claims to have" is illogical. Deeming a statement as a
claim does not imply the claim is false (negative connotations). I
cannot help that three people perceive a negative connotation. This
paragraph can try and succeed, or try and fail.
(I'm going to continue this off-topic discussion just a bit more,
with the excuse that maybe by doing so I'll reduce the odds of similar
kerfuffles in the future .... )
Sure, I understood why you said "claims to have" rather than "has" --I agree. I believe that people associating a claim of a claim with a
I do that myself when I don't really have any basis for knowing
about the truth of the claim. But I'm aware that for some people
"claims to have" is not just a statement of fact, but one that casts
doubt on the claim. So I try to make it clear that I'm not trying
to be insulting. People [*] aren't always logical!
[*] There could be exceptions. I'm not sure I've ever met one,
but with, what, over 6 billion people on the planet, who can say ...
dispute for the latter claim will find their doubt-casting. That can
be reconditioned just as avoidance of "bad words" can be
"Wordy and pedantic style" applies to _my_ posts _already_. :) It
why we have to be careful how we write, if we do not wish to be
misunderstood. (That applies to everyone, in all contexts, not just in
comp.lang.c, and it applies as much to me as it does to you or to anyone
If I don't fully know the whole
picture regarding everyone's status, can I reasonably say "has"
instead of "claims to have"?
I would not -- I would take the approach described above. But this
sort-of-advice should probably be taken with a big block of salt,
because it does make for a rather wordy and pedantic style, maybe,
and while that's pretty appropriate for me, maybe not so much for
Agreed on "wordy and pedantic style."
Careful, there, who are you calling "wordy and pedantic" ....
Oh, maybe no one. (And even if you were, it would be true of me,
though a "smile when you say that, pardner" [*] would be in order.)
will _continue_ to apply as more emotional lighteners and/or
neutralizers are sprinkled in.
"...who are you calling..." is another example of a perceived
attack. :S I have already requested that in general: stop perceiving
personal attacks where
there are none; even though a history of personal attacks in Usenet
might make this challenging. :S
[*] Possibly US-centric cultural reference to -- some movie fromThat cultural reference is familiar to me, outside of the U. S. A.
long ago, I think. The point is that it's easier to be laughed
*with* than laughed *at*. If that doesn't make sense say so and
I'll try to clarify.
Agreed that the reference comes from that culture. :)
Nobody should be laughing when the subject is people's feelings being
hurt, in my opinion. It's a very serious matter. That is why there
aren't any smile tokens in that post. A smile token might encourage
Agreed on "more readily found." And here is a clue as to whyStyles can be adapted, also.
Let's call it what it is, though: Being especially sensitive to a list
of trigger words with possible emotional associations for readers. I
have failed to demonstrate such sensitivity, which warrants an
apology. I'm sorry. Perhaps we have cultural differences. Please
forgive and be tolerant. There is no objective implication of dispute
using "claims to have," so one cannot guarantee "loading" of a "word-
weapon" and ill intent.
"Cultural differences" is a possibility. I'm writing from the
US, which is where I grew up and currently reside. I don't think
I'm much more provincial and US-centric than most people in this
country, but admittedly that's a low bar.
To me you're coming across as someone who considers only the logical
meaning of words and not their potential emotional impact on readers.
I suspect that this puts you in a small minority, though I could be
wrong about that. I also suspect that "logical meaning only" people
are apt to be more readily found in technical fields than elsewhere.
attention to readers' emotional needs was not anticipated as requiring
more care than I am used to. :)
Thanks for being polite. :)... ... ...
The OP might however want to avoid my tendency to drift off-topic.
Just sayin'. :-)?
It's difficult to avoid being drawn into personal back-and-forth,
Isn't it, though.
[ snip ]
Agreed -- but really, it kind of surprises me that someone who
seems entirely fluent in English would not know that both of
these words can have negative connotations. But there may be
some obvious explanation for that, one that's not occurring to me.
This implies that fluency in English is sufficient cause for awareness
of negative connotations for these words. Connotations are cultural
and not universal to a language. That is the cause for your surprise..
Fair enough. (I did think it might be something along those lines
but couldn't think how to express that thought politely enough.)
It is.I daresay that connotations are also fuzzy without context. There was
no personal attack happening, so use of "claims to have" need not
carry a negative connotation. It is understandable that someone
perceiving a personal attack might also perceive a negative
connotation. So in general: stop perceiving personal attacks where
there are none. A history of personal attacks in Usenet might make
I took part of Richard's advice the day of his kind words and read a
good number of your posts. Thanks, B.
If I've helped -- happy to do so. You may have observed that on
some occasions (not in this discussion, but in others) I can be
too quick to take offense where none was intended. It's one of
the hazards of a text-only medium, I think!
Indeed, this discussion is another example ....It is.
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