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Thread: plz. Big terms

  1. #1
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    Smile plz. Big terms

    In the following lecture:
    "The simplest kind of deductive argument has two statements or assumptions and then a conclusion. It's called a syllogism. That's S-Y-L-L-O-G-Y-S-M.
    Now don get confused by big terms like this; remember, a syllogism is an argument with two assumptions and a conclusion...it's simple stuff, really"
    I don' understand what 'the big terms' mean, and what the correct meaning of 'simple stuff'

    please help me.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: plz. Big terms

    Quote Originally Posted by cutemina1211 View Post
    In the following lecture:
    "The simplest kind of deductive argument has two statements or assumptions and then a conclusion. It's called a syllogism. That's S-Y-L-L-O-G-Y-S-M.
    Now don get confused by big terms like this; remember, a syllogism is an argument with two assumptions and a conclusion...it's simple stuff, really"
    I don' understand what 'the big terms' mean, and what the correct meaning of 'simple stuff'
    please help me.
    There are words and terms in English that were (perhaps still are, by some) considered only to be part of the vocabulary of the 'upper' or educated classes.

    Such a term is a 'big term' not in length but in the size of the speaker's social status or educational level. The language of your passage has a distinctly ironic sense, albeit the irony is rather American in tone, and so I would assume that the speaker is in the position of teacher talking to a group of students considered dumb by society; they expect to be patronised, so she parodies the stereotypes they expect from her by pretending to reassure them that even they can understand an 'educated' word/concept like 'syllogism'.

    Similarly, the speaker is dismissing the difficulty of understanding mathematical logic, which has 'big' terms like 'syllogism' or 'predicate', by using a term that resonates with his/her listeners. They will have likely dismissed their younger siblings, learning new skills, with the contemptuous "Can't you even do that simple stuff?" 'Stuff' is just a generic term, usually dismissive, meaning 'whatever it is/was', etc. For example: Q:"What did you do last week?", A:"Oh, just stuff." This is intended to make them contemplate that logic is just like making a tidy hayrick, in that we all start as novices, and by hard endeavour we eventually reach the stage of describing our skill as nothing more than 'simple stuff'.

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