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  1. #11
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: I have a problem... (Not lesson related)

    I think you are making a problem where none exists.

    You write: "The word story has become defined, recognised and perceived by the word, and action, tell"

    No it hasn't.In only one of the 25 definitions (I.1.a-c, 2, 3 ,4.a-e, 5.a-e, 6.a-e, 7, II.8.a-b, II.9) in the OED does a 'tell'-word (the noun 'teller') appear.

    In the 22 definitions in Webster's Third (1. a-c, 2.a-f, 3.a-d, 4, 5.a-b, 6, 7.a-b, 8.a-b, 9), a 'tell'-word (the verb) appears just twice.

    No 'tell'-word appears in the six definitions in the COD.

  2. #12
    DarrenTomlyn is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: I have a problem... (Not lesson related)

    It's really hard to quote you back when you reply within quotes yourself - can you please refrain from doing that - (have a separate quote for each passage you wish to reply to, please?).

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    "An account or recital of an event or a series of events, either true or fictitious."
    That's one definition.
    'Story' can be defined without using 'tell'. Stories aren't always told. Sometimes they're written and read.
    You should question your premises. But posting them here for comment is a good second choice.
    Account in this context and recital has the same meaning as the word tell in such a description. EVERY dictionary/encyclopedia I have ever read - (and I've been checking for years) - has such an equivalent in their definitions - defining the thing we call story by the application of being told/recited etc. - even though in its use the word story is treated separately. (We'd never need to use the word tell if that were not the case - for evidence see the word narrative).

    Yes, it's a noun. We use nouns for things.
    Not always. But this is something I wind up with later - (the word noun was on the list for a good reason).

    You assert that it is defined/perceived as narrative. Some definitions might include 'narrate' and its derivatives in a definition of 'story'. If you weren't sure of the meaning of 'narrative', you'd need to look that up. There is a potential problem of word A being defined by using word B and the definition of word B using word A in its definition. I agree that that can be a problem for students.
    The solution is to consult more than one dictionary, check how the word is used, the contexts, connotations, etc. Is that what you mean by a problem?
    Nope - you still haven't got it/seen it, yet, have you? The word story is used as representing a thing, independently of any and all acts, including being told/recited or their equivalent - and requires such words to be used in combination - (or to reference an example that has such properties), in a manner fully consistent with the very basic rules of English grammar governing 'things'.

    Because of this, defining the word story by such an act, regardless of any language used, breaks the rules of grammar - defining a thing by its behaviour the language treats completely independently as separate words used in combination. We don't define doors as opening, and we don't define cars as moving etc. for a damn good reason. Stories should therefore not be defined as being told - using whatever language we choose to do so. ALL such dictionaries/encyclopedias are therefore inconsistent with how the language is used and therefore inaccurate - (and apparently always have been).

    No. There is no "current definition of 'story'". There are many definitions of 'story' and 'narrative', and if you consulted various sources, you could easily differentiate these words. Some words are harder, and hence we receive many, many posts here asking "What's the difference between A and B?" But this is not a problem of incorrect definitions.


    I said 'current' definition, precisely because it is so consistent at this time throughout all dictionaries/encyclopedias etc..

    I'm going to condense the rest of my reply here - what you have to say from here on in really doesn't matter much.

    The problem with the word story, is that is has always been perceived for what it represents, in a manner that is inconsistent with how the word is used - based on old definitions etc., it has always been defined as a thing (arrangement of information) that is told, even though the language has always treated the two separately.

    The dictionaries have therefore failed in their jobs, to report on what this word represents according to its use - and have instead been describing this word based on how it is perceived. Unfortunately, such a perception, having been reinforced by such definitions and teaching for over 800 years is now, understandably, prevalent.

    Do you have any examples of this? I have yet to meet a person who has a problem with the concept of flightless birds, or the fact that they can breed and feed and do lots of other things that don't involve flying.
    *hits head on table*

    Talking about getting the wrong end of the stick. Imagine that people *did* have a problem with flightless birds precisely *because* it was how the word bird was defined - as an animal that is flying/flies, instead of can fly. (It was an analogy, okay?).

    The word story, according to its use, is merely a thing that *can* be told, not *is* - and yet is defined *as* a thing that *is* being told/recited/narrated etc..

    And yes, people do see the word as representing such a thing (being told) - hence the arguments I've been having with people on gamasutra.com - (and other places), and the reason for my post here.


    Let's look at one of your assumptions:
    The word "tell" is used in at least one definition of "story" that you've read. Therefore, people cannot conceive of a story without the element of telling.
    What evidence do you have for this assumption?
    Obviously I can just tell you to go and read every and all dictionaries and encyclopedias under the sun, since they'll all give the same or equivalent definition, in order for you to understand just how prevalent it is.

    However, the first thing I recommend is to go and read the large multi-volume Oxford English Dictionary. Read the old definition of story, and compare it to the example text next to it - (~12C). You'll find exactly the same problem - the word is used independently of tell, and yet is defined by it. (EDIT: If I remember it uses the word narrate - which of course is a more recent addition to the language than the word story itself).

    If people knew and understood what it is the word story represents in a manner according to its use - (independently of being told), my post here would be superfluous - since it would already be recognised and understood.

    Story n. A form/arrangement of information of or about a series of events, either real or imaginary, (created and stored inside (a person's) memory).
    Last edited by DarrenTomlyn; 23-Jun-2011 at 18:36. Reason: typo's

  3. #13
    DarrenTomlyn is offline Newbie
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    Post Re: I have a problem... (Not lesson related)

    @fivejedjon

    There are many, many words in the language that can be used in place of the word tell (account in this context/recite/narrate etc.) to give it a similar meaning. I've read those dictionaries and they had the same problem, even if not exact. Again, we're talking about the main definition of the word story for what it represents today - (though since its old definition suffered from the same problem...).

  4. #14
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    Default Re: I have a problem... (Not lesson related)

    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenTomlyn View Post
    It's really hard to quote you back when you reply within quotes yourself - can you please refrain from doing that - (have a separate quote for each passage you wish to reply to, please?).
    When people give up their free time to attempt to assist others with questions about language, they don't expect to be told how they should format their answers.

  5. #15
    DarrenTomlyn is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: I have a problem... (Not lesson related)

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    When people give up their free time to attempt to assist others with questions about language, they don't expect to be told how they should format their answers.
    Which is why I asked nicely since it's basic forum etiquette... Thank you.

  6. #16
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: I have a problem... (Not lesson related)

    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenTomlyn View Post
    Because of this, defining the word story by such an act, regardless of any language used, breaks the rules of grammar - defining a thing by its behaviour the language treats completely independently as separate words used in combination. We don't define doors as opening, and we don't define cars as moving etc. for a damn good reason. Stories should therefore not be defined as being told - using whatever language we choose to do so. ALL such dictionaries/encyclopedias are therefore inconsistent with how the language is used and therefore inaccurate - (and apparently always have been).
    Have you read 5jj's post above?

    I said 'current' definition, precisely because it is so consistent at this time throughout all dictionaries/encyclopedias etc..
    Have you read 5jj's post above?


    I'm going to condense the rest of my reply here - what you have to say from here on in really doesn't matter much.
    Ditto. You won't get many adherents with that attitude.

    *hits head on table*
    Oooh, don't do that. That could be how all this started!

    Story n. A form/arrangement of information of or about a series of events, either real or imaginary, (created and stored inside (a person's) memory).
    Stories can also be stored in books or on computer discs. There is no perfect definition of "story", but the ones we have are quite adequate, for me at least.
    [/QUOTE]
    I've tried to understand your point. You perceive that dictionaries do not define words properly, and that this is causing a problem (which you are reluctant to exemplify). In any case, I don't think I can help further.

  7. #17
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: I have a problem... (Not lesson related)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    There is no perfect definition of "story", but the ones we have are quite adequate, for me at least.
    Me too. I am happy with these:

    COD:
    "1.An account of imaginary or past events; a narrative, tale or anecdote.
    2. the past course of the life of a peson or institution etc.[...]
    4. facts or experiences that deserve narration."

    ALD:
    "1, a description of events or people that the writer or speaker has invented in order to entertain people. [...]
    2. an account, often spoken, of what happened to sb or of how sth happened. [...]
    3. an account of past events or of how sth has developed. [...]
    4. a report in a newspaper, magazine or news broadcast."

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    *hits head on table*
    Oooh, don't do that. That could be how all this started!
    Last edited by 5jj; 23-Jun-2011 at 19:57.

  8. #18
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: I have a problem... (Not lesson related)

    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenTomlyn View Post
    What you're talking about is the equivalent of defining the word car by the nature of its creation, rather than what it is.
    I am using the terms you gave:

    Story n. A form/arrangement of information of or about a series of events, either real or imaginary, (created and stored inside (a person's) memory).

  9. #19
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: I have a problem... (Not lesson related)

    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenTomlyn View Post
    Nope - you still haven't got it/seen it, yet, have you?
    The problem when people haven't got or seen something lies with the person explaining. If people don't get it, and you have found people elsewhere didn't get it either, it could be one of two things before you start laying into the people not agreeing with you- it could be badly explained or wrong.

    A simple solution to this is to write and publish on the internet your alternative definitions in a glossary. If it's good people will refer to it. If you can write a more accurate, clear definition of story and all the other words that you feel dictionaries are failing us with, then people will pick up on it. Forget academic papers- there's no need. Simply write better definitions and put them out on the web.

    You might want to go easy on the what you have to say from here on in really doesn't matter much stuff- insulting people and belittling them is rarely a good way of persuading them. If you read the replies, people are quoting from multiple dictionary sources- there's always room for another dictionary of our shelves if it's good and offers something.


    And try not to be so dismissive of the dictionaries that exist- hundreds of years of very serious scholarly work have gone into them and they are very well-respected, so being dismissive of them will raise eyebrows and heckles. Dictionaries exist in a state of flux and do change- they are works in progress. If you think you can do better, then do better. Revolutionary theories are ten a penny. Revolutions are rare.

  10. #20
    DarrenTomlyn is offline Newbie
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    Post Re: I have a problem... (Not lesson related)

    If people cannot recognise the difference between a individual word and its application based on its use in the language - then this 'linguistics' forum isn't going to get anywhere...

    The word story is USED independently of the word TELL and what it represents. I hope that this is simple enough for people here to recognise and understand - the phrase 'tell me a story' should be so common that even people here should know of it, yes?

    The English language has MANY different words for what it is the word tell is used to represent in such a manner - such as narrate*/recite - or a further application of such a thing - account/narrative etc..

    Since we have always used the word tell in combination with the word story, and therefore they exist independently, such words can have no place in its definition.

    Just like the words bird and fly exist separately, and therefore defining the word bird by using the word flying (or equivalent) would be inaccurate.

    The combination of story and tell has become so common when used that the words storytelling and storyteller have become normal accepted words within the language.

    If the word story represented any such properties described by the word tell or equivalent - such use would be completely superfluous.

    Since a words definition HAS to based UPON its use and not the other way round - such definitions are therefore inconsistent with such use and therefore inaccurate/wrong - linguistics 101. *2

    Now, I gave you what I would consider a definition that is consistent with its use before:

    Story n. An arrangement of information about a series of events, either real or imaginary, (created and stored inside a person's memory).

    (Start with the word storytelling, (esp. in relation to storyteller) and take away the telling and what do you wind up with?).

    Everything a person/entity does or happens to them becomes a story - it creates - (or WRITES) an arrangement of such information in their memories. People's imagination can also be used to create such a story too, but always based upon the stories that have been written. (We're approaching the basics of Aristotle's Theory of Art now - every story we create (and then tell) is merely a reflection of the stories that have already been written).

    This leads to a very basic, simple definition of the word art itself - which is exactly what it represents:

    Art n. creative story-telling.

    The (three?) uses of the word art - (have had some discussion about the second, though it has no effect upon the above definition) - are:

    1) The process of creating something, (using our imagination), (something that wouldn't otherwise exist), for any reason. Most of our creations are made for a specific function and so that is how they are defined/labelled once created. Since everything we create tells the story of its creation, everything can therefore be seen as a work of art (of such a process) even if not specifically created for such a reason.

    2) Any 'thing' we create for the reason/function of telling a story. (I'm not sure about this - the term 'work of art' or 'artform' implies the above process anyway, and so is this entry even necessary?)

    3) The teaching or performance of 1) or any other 'work of art.'

    Creative story telling is all that is required to describe both 1) & 3) above. 2) would be covered as-well.

    Most of the arguments about art appear for two main reasons. The confusion between the creative process itself and what is created by it is the main problem. This shouldn't exist - because they are the same thing - they're both similar/related applications of the same behaviour. (The second is how such a definition should be applied - but that has nothing to do with linguistics itself).

    And this is why the word story is important for what it represents in isolation - independently of being told - even if the word art itself represents such an application. It allows us to describe such concepts in a consistent objective manner to and by such a thing, and therefore understand just how and why they are related to each other.

    Why is this important?

    Because such a concept is not fully recognised or understood at this time.

    Why?

    Because WHAT nouns are used to represent, (in general) is not fully recognised or understood - again, the language we use to describe such a word fails to do it's job.

    Why?

    *see some of my above posts for what I had to say about the word narrate (so far).

    *2 IMHO I feel that one of the main reason this problem has always existed, might have something to do with the French language, the word estorie, and how that is used? If so, that might explain why people initially had problem understanding and recognising that it's use within the English language was no longer the same? (Not really any excuse now though). (I don't have the resources to do a full study of it's etymology - and I'm only interested in how the language is used 'now' anyway.
    Last edited by DarrenTomlyn; 24-Jun-2011 at 17:18. Reason: footnotes / typos

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