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Toki Pona Forums • Controversial Phrases - Page 2
Page 2 of 4

Re: Controversial Phrases

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:28 am
by janKipo
Looks like, but isn't. Although 'sike' isn't officially a preposition, or at least doesn't have an assigned meaning,
Yes, we are neutral, as planned and I don't see a reason to change. Part of the deal is to get way from misleading emotional involvement, whereby one can be persuaded to act against one's own best interest, by framing the presentation in apparently descriptive, but actually loaded, language (cf. the current health bill debate).

Re: Controversial Phrases

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:17 am
by janMato

Re: Controversial Phrases

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:15 am
by janKipo
Of course there can be opinionated views (are there any other kind?) but they can be expressed without triggering merely emotional responses. That is, you may get an emotional response but it is based on the content of the view expressed, not merely on its mode of expression. I have actually seen abortion discussions between deeply committed people on both sides that vigorously laid out the positions and the supporting information without once using "baby-killer" or "womb Nazi" or, indeed, any other charged words, finding even mutually acceptable words for the being in utero. You have to look hard for them but they are out there. And, of course, much of it was still based on prejudice (mainly shown in cherry-picking the available information) and on various sorts of self interest. But the point is that it was carried on in a non-arousing way. You might be swayed, even aroused, by the arguments but again this was reaction to content, not wording. And indeed, there were use of strong disapprobation (and approbation, for that matter) on each side, but these value judgments based on principles an data, not merely soul-stirring battle cries.
tp is lousy at nuance (hell, it's lousy at oldance or whatever the opposite is), but it can build up what it needs from the material at hand: mute & lili, pakala (and no opposite), and so on. But they don't have to be blindly enraging or seducing.

Re: Controversial Phrases

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:10 pm
by jan Josan
Another factor we have in toki pona is the extreme lengths we go to just to discover the right words for even neutral concepts. If it takes a page of forum posts to decide if the definition of a zebra does injustice to the panda, or how many years now to find left-side and right-side definitions that don't insult the 1 in 12,000 people with Dextrocardia, I can imagine any emotionally charged definition will have to go through a thorough vetting before it's allowed into the co-op. And to be accepted it would have to please both those who are invested in the concept, as well as those who are invested in proper grammar!

As far as abortion goes, I think it would have to involve a "weka" of some kind, or at least a 'pini'. For the foetus-not-yet-child we had a definition for seed floating around in the modals at one point, 'ken kama' I believe. So my vote would be for something of the "weka pi ken kama jan" variety.

Re: Controversial Phrases

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:07 pm
by janKipo
And yet we have no trouble insulting half the world with our words for North and South. Part of the trouble is that, whether we like it or not, expressions we make up for a particular occasion tend to become fixed and used on other occasions when they are less germane (or where other expressions would work better). Having a dictionary encourages this, even though the official line is that the expressions there are exemplary not final. And part of that is just laziness; it is hard to make up an apt expression every time and it is even harder to puzzle out one every time, so we fall back on the tried and (often not so) true. And part is practical in another way: if people in both North and South American called their continent 'Mewika Lete' some confusion would surely arise sometime soon. And yet contextualism should be a guiding principle in tp. So, there are problems. (I don't want to go on about abortion except to note that part of the emotional work is done by universalizing expressions which are quite correct and informative in some contexts; they jar in alien contexts.)

Re: Controversial Phrases

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:10 pm
by janMato

Re: Controversial Phrases

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:58 pm
by janMato

Re: Controversial Phrases

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:11 pm
by janKipo
I don't suppose that anyone thought the southern hemisphere was hotter than the northern and so on, they just though that is where heat comes from for me. As for insults, this is just picking up on the comment about dextrocardiacs and our regular refusal to identify the left side with where the heart is (not that that would be terrible useful to a lot of people). I think importing English connotations is exactly what I don't want to see happen, unless everyone gets it (well, consensus including a number of non-native English speakers at least). If you want a language where the word for cold also refers to unfriendliness, you know where to find it.

Re: Controversial Phrases - tenpo sike

Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:34 am
by jan Ote

Re: Controversial Phrases - tenpo sike

Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:51 am
by janMato