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View Diary: Precision Matters: Please say "Texas Republicans" (137 comments)

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  •  What if not every Rep supports that? (0+ / 0-)

    How much precision matters? Maybe some Texas Republican would say that even your suggested revision over-generalizes and therefore unfairly tarnishes the minority within the party that oppose the radical majority on this hypocrisy. The use of grammatical generics is rather tricky. On the one hand, they are indispensable for stating certain kinds of fact succinctly. On the other hand, they always invite the objection that they overgeneralize; in my opinion, this objection is sometimes unfounded and relies on a very uncharitable reading of the statement and an overly sensitive response. On the third hand, grammatical generics do carry stereotyping stigma and tend to "essentialize" contingent properties of groups... Three hands? Did I mention grammatical generics are complicated. Anyway, I do think that it is often, and in this particular case most obviously, clear from context that "Xs do abc" doesn't mean "each and every single X does abc" but rather that "a significant characteristic of Xs as a group is to abc, though there may be notable and important exceptions."

    Sort of a ramble, sorry.

    Passive renunciation is not the whole of wisdom.

    by play jurist on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 07:06:41 AM PDT

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