Re: language as not transparent

Wendy Crebbin (
Tue, 14 May 1996 12:56:48 GMT+1000

Dear Gary

you are right - but not completely

you said

But, Wendy, I must ask: exactly where are these levels? Of what are they
composed? How is it that you are so readily aware of them and I am not?
Could it be that, in fact, there are no 'levels.' That, instead,you are
using a figure of speech.

In talking about levels am using a figure of speech - but I was aware
of that when I did it - I pondered the need for another more
appropriate word - but in this rapid system of interaction I could
not find one. - Which relates directly to my third meaning of
transparent (part C) where I refered to words not meaning exactly
what we mean.

You then went on to ask -
That being the case, the question is: what if any consequence
arises from this phenomenon of transparency?

The consequences would be negligible if we then did not take a
realist view and hold people to their language - and at times their
language but not their meaning. - which in one sense is what you did to

In my mind transparency is part of a social construct which assumes
unity of meaning and unity of the individual whilst hiding power
relationships which have contributed to their construction. If we
accept that each of us constructs our-selves differently in different
contexts and that language has multiple rather than single meanings
then there are spaces to question how/why they are so.