Pragmatics - Answers.com: The study of language as it is used in a social context, including its effect on the interlocutors.
Consider one's specific choice of words when posting at an online forum or writing an email. Some of us are aware, for better or worse, that the words we use could express something more other than their simple meaning or what would appear to be their intended meaing. I think posters and email writers are aware of this and choose to be tactful or not tactful for whatever their reasons may be.
Would anyone like to comment or add an opinion here?
Would anyone like to post some contrasting examples to demonstrate how even a minor alteration in one's choice of words can have a subtle, yet notable, effect on how a reader could interpret written expression?
Also, if you sincerely believe that this notion is of no value at all, please, do say so as well. I'm listening. The world is listening.
It doesn't happen often, but it could take years, at times, before one finally finds the correct words to say something. I could easily paraphrase all of the above down to a few words in one or two sentences, but that might not sound very polite.
Last edited by PROESL; 07-Aug-2009 at 16:43.
Reason: spelling error
What's semi-illiterate about that? That's a correct use of 'issue', isn't it?
Issue. (Macquarie Dict.)
12. Offspring or progeny. To die without issue.
Yes, of course it is correct. I really seem to be expressing myself badly today. I was trying to say that that is a correct use of 'issue', what is not correct is this sort of use:
There are some issues with that copy machine.
Sorry for the confusion.
In my view the above are examples of semi-illiteracy.
Do you think it makes sense to say that a copy machine has issues? No.
Well, this is my point. However, it's rather interesting. Here's why. I corrected a businessperson's writing, replacing the word "issue" with "problem". The student - an ESL speaker - explained to me that his colleagues - native speakers of English - typically use "issue" when speaking of machines, such as a copy machine.
The point is that it is too direct to say "problem". One would not like to say that the machines this person's company supplies and services could ever have "problems".
So where it has been common practice, informally as noted in the AHD, to use "issues" when speaking of one's personal problems or difficulties, it now also seems to be commonplace to apply the word "issue" to material items such as a copier. This, as I said, is done in order to not draw attention to the idea that one's products and services could really, in fact, have a problem.
It seems that politeness has won a victory over correct and good usage and that educated and intelligent native speakers of English - in the business world - have commandeered a word in order to avoid calling attention to an undesirable idea. The euphemistic use of "issue" is thus expanding.
Last edited by PROESL; 09-Aug-2009 at 20:07.
Reason: spelling error