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View Diary: The subtle racism of friends and allies (106 comments)

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  •  Words as signals of intent (6+ / 0-)

    I've been thinking a lot lately about the ways that words signal intent, the ways we interpret those signals, and the ways we respond.

    I suspect some readers may interpret a couple of your word signals differently than you might intend (even in clarifying) but I think this begins to explore an interesting area.

    Thanks for bringing some attention to the idea of words as signals of intent.


    •  I Think You're Absolutely Right (2+ / 0-)
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      kj in missouri, NLinStPaul

      When I hear words that would typically upset me, I always talk to the speaker/writer about it.  What I most often find is that I'm picking up on something they weren't trying to telegraph, or whatever.  Until I know for sure, I don't feel like there's any point in me being angry or hurt.

      Free Beer, Hot Wings, Eric Zane, Producer Joe, and Steve For President. OK Not Steve, but he can be chauffer or something.

      by TooFolkGR on Tue Sep 15, 2009 at 10:46:05 AM PDT

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      •  But often words trigger emotions that people (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kj in missouri, NLinStPaul, TooFolkGR

        have a difficult time getting past to do the intellectual, calm discussion that would help.  They feel and often don't understand why they feel it.  The listener can no more delve into their pshycosis to either fully understand or explain anymore than can the speaker.

        You said above that intent is all that matters.  It might be all that matters to you, but I think in life, you're going to find that intent is often the least important thing.  You also say, however, that when someone you care about has let you know that you using a certain word or phrase offends them, you will not use it to avoid hurting them.  And I guess that's where the difference is.  You're willing to listen and change your behavior, and therefore your intent and your delivery both become nonoffensive.  

        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Tue Sep 15, 2009 at 11:21:28 AM PDT

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    •  ohhhh (1+ / 0-)
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      any idea framed like this:  "words as signals of intent" are going to draw me in like... well like a moth to a flame, might as well get all clichie about it.   ;-)    

      i revere words, so i truly dig that phrase/idea/intent/signal, etbnc.   thanks.  :-)

      "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

      by kj in missouri on Tue Sep 15, 2009 at 06:20:11 PM PDT

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