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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

It's a fact that an opinion is not a fact.


Most will be aware that Michael Gove had a brain fart of an idea about putting bibles into every school.
It's old news and as far as I am aware the Bibles are currently languishing in a warehouse somewhere with thousands of copies of CDs released by past winners of the X- Factor.
Both will be coming to a poundland near you soon I presume.
Anyway, apart from it being an arrogant assumption that everyone shares his belief that religion has some merit, and that others would appreciate his support of Christianity while blatantly ignoring alternative religious views, I would strongly argue that there is maybe a need for more dictionaries in schools.
The reason being that some words seem to be misinterpreted in this modern world.
Some more than others.
Take the word criticism.
It really means that to critique is to judge the merits, positive and negative, of something or other.
It's supposed to be a balanced breakdown of anything from making music to writing an essay.
It's also an opinion expressed, but I will get to that.
Is that how people perceive it though?
If I was to say I was criticizing a band the immediate assumption is that I'm tearing them a new arsehole.
Far from it.
The critique could be expressing my opinion that the band in question are at the peak of their talents and there is nothing negative that springs to mind that requires to be commented on.
So why is there this misunderstanding of the meaning of the word?
I have no idea, but if I was to say that it's possible that people are just a tad thick then no one would be too pleased at my critique of the intelligence of my fellow occupiers of the planet.
Maybe it is just that some people have become dislocated from the written word, unless of course it is within a twitter word count limit, or it is written sans vowel in the manner of txt spk.
Then again maybe it's the media and their sound bites, and the misunderstandings lie in the inability to process information, coupled with an obvious lust by individuals to respond prior to absorbing something in it's entirety.
Here's another one.
Opinion.
An opinion is a subjective belief, but when it is expressed it often seems to be mistaken for a fact by others, and then people like myself have to explain the difference between the two.
In fact sometimes those expressing an opinion also mistake their opinion as a fact to.
That is a fact.
You see the difference there?
Just because someone believes something does not make it a fact.
I try and make that very clear in my blog.
I reiterate the point to exhaustion that virtually everything in a music review is a subjective opinion.
Others are free to agree or disagree, but they can't say that my personal opinion about how a sound has made me feel, or how a performance has been executed, is wrong.
Yet many do.
It must be that they have just failed to understand the differences in what opinions and facts are, and and in their minds they are both interchangeable.
I mean it couldn't be that they just arrogantly presume that they are right, and anyone who disagrees with their opinion would be wrong.
That would be crazy.
There can't be people like that in the world.
Can there be?
They would have to make up a word to describe them.
I wonder if fundamentalists has been considered?
Maybe if people just had a bit more of an understanding of the meaning of a word then we could all save a great deal of time by avoiding such confusion.
There would also be the added bonus that if we were really sure that people knew what the words meant, then instead of accepting that there may be a bit of genuine ignorance* involved, then we would know for a fact that anyone who was misusing them was just a cunt who thought the world revolved around them.
Wouldn't that be refreshing?
Demand more dictionaries in schools now.
With a few more dictionaries going about we could all be free from a great deal of bullshit.
Support the cause, if only to help us differentiate between the dense and the arrogantly superior who are often interchangeable with the dense.

*Ignorance. There's another. Calling someone ignorant is not a criticism, or it shouldn't be if it is used correctly.
I'm ignorant of the skills required to be a top class brain surgeon.
That's not a dig steeped in self loathing, but simply a fact.
I have the absence of knowledge required to do the job, and there's nothing offensive in it being used in that context.

3 comments:

  1. That a dig at me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. As I have no idea who you are then I'm not sure, but lets just presume it is to avoid any disappointment.

    ReplyDelete