Re: language as not transparent

Gary Blanchard (
Tue, 14 May 1996 07:19:56 -0700

Dear Wendy,

Thanks. The best way I can think of to reply to your latest response
is as follows: In your reply, you referred to such matters as:

>... a realist view...[what is that/how is it determined to be 'realist']

>... hold people to their language...[by their toes? what IS language?]

>... and at times their language but not their meaning...[meaning?]

>... which in one sense is what you did to me. [How did I DO this, just by writing in this space?]
>... a social construct [what is this? How can I see it? Is it see-able?]

>... which assumes [Oh, so this entity can assume?]

> ...unity of meaning and [as opposed, say, to non-unity?]

> ...unity of the individual [same, plus..THE individual?]

> ...whilst hiding power relationships [and IT can hide things?]

...>which have contributed to their construction. [???]

>If we accept that each of us constructs our-selves differently in
>different contexts... [what is this thing called a 'SELF'? How is it that it creates itself? Differently? In different ... con..contexts?
What are they?]

> ...and that language has multiple rather than single meanings

[Ah, so there is A thing called language. And IT is so
imprecise...IT has many...'meanings'? What are 'meanings'?]

I offer, Wendy, that the above provides ample evidence that you, like
most people at this time in history, are immersed in an objectivist
interpretation of the nature and operation of language, don't know it,
and are profoundly affected by it.

Part of the objecivist tradition is to refer to language as an entity
but, in fact, give no real awareness to it as a permanent, omnipresent,
'reality'-shaping fact of our existence.

Which helps to account for why you feel, as you say above, that 'language
is not transparent.' You are a captive of the paradigm 'objectivism,'
one sign of which is the belief that you are not.

Hope I haven't offended you. Comments?

Sincerely, Gary