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  1. #1
    Englishlanguage is offline Member
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    Default to look back on/to or vs. review

    Dictionaries give almost the same definition for to look back on/to history and to review history. But from contexts it seems to me that they carry different meanings.
    to look back on/to history sounds like "considering events happened in history".
    to review implies that you change your opinion about events happened in history.
    Am I right?

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    Default Re: to look back on/to or vs. review

    G'day Englishlanguage,
    In my opinion you are not right and the many dictionaries you consulted are right.
    It is not possible to change history.
    History is. It happened and nothing you can do will change history.
    You may review your opinion of history and change your opoinion but you will not change history.
    Opinions vary but history is immutable.

    .,,
    With yersterday curtained and tomorrow uncertain we live as ourselves not some of the time

  3. #3
    Englishlanguage is offline Member
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    Default Re: to look back on/to or vs. review

    Quote Originally Posted by .,, View Post
    G'day Englishlanguage,
    In my opinion you are not right and the many dictionaries you consulted are right.
    It is not possible to change history.
    History is. It happened and nothing you can do will change history.
    You may review your opinion of history and change your opoinion but you will not change history.
    Opinions vary but history is immutable.
    Hello,
    Thank you for replying.
    I don't agree with you. What you say could be right as far as you consider history itself without any interpretation. But in my opinion history cannot do without an interpretation, which is necessarily subjective and different from other ones, and this can be changed.

    Anyway, what I meant is that to look back on/to history sounds to me like "to consider, talk about, think over historical events", while to review history sounds like "to revise your opinion on a historical event".
    Therefore the second implies you change your mind about the event you consider, the first doesn't.
    Of course I may be wrong since I'm not a native speaker and I don't even have much experience.

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    Default Re: to look back on/to or vs. review

    I still agree with me and all my dictionaries and my slightly less than 50 years experience talking and then writing in nothing but English.
    To review history is simply to review the events. To re view. To look at again.
    To look back on is to look at again or to re view or review. There is no difference so you could take your opinion to both sayings equally.
    It is not logical for you to place an interpretative spin on 'to review' and then to use 'to look back on' literally and then say that the sayings are different.

    To review my opinion of history is what you are trying to say but without the inclusion of 'my opinion of' the sentence is completely different.
    To review the subject matter is not to change the subject matter.
    To review a parade of soldiers does not change the soldiers one iota.
    To review history does not change history.
    Recorded history may be rewritten but this does not change (actual) history which by definition can not change..

    .,,
    Opinions may change but history is immutable.

  5. #5
    Englishlanguage is offline Member
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    Default Re: to look back on/to or vs. review

    Quote Originally Posted by .,, View Post
    I still agree with me and all my dictionaries and my slightly less than 50 years experience talking and then writing in nothing but English.
    To review history is simply to review the events. To re view. To look at again.
    To look back on is to look at again or to re view or review. There is no difference so you could take your opinion to both sayings equally.
    It is not logical for you to place an interpretative spin on 'to review' and then to use 'to look back on' literally and then say that the sayings are different.

    To review my opinion of history is what you are trying to say but without the inclusion of 'my opinion of' the sentence is completely different.
    To review the subject matter is not to change the subject matter.
    To review a parade of soldiers does not change the soldiers one iota.
    To review history does not change history.
    Recorded history may be rewritten but this does not change (actual) history which by definition can not change..

    .,,
    Opinions may change but history is immutable.
    I'm afraid I am misled by my mother tongue. There is a word very similar to review (they have a common origin) which carries the meaning I assigned to review. Thank you for your explanation.

    However, when I wrote I didn't agree with you, I was referring to your opinion that history is immutable, not to the language question.
    As for this matter (I think it's a very interesting one), the problem is that actual history is nothing if people don't know it.
    I think Holocaust-denial is really emblematic of this. It's not such a long time ago it occured but there is people denying it.

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    Default Re: to look back on/to or vs. review

    Quote Originally Posted by Englishlanguage View Post
    I'm afraid I am misled by my mother tongue. There is a word very similar to review (they have a common origin) which carries the meaning I assigned to review. Thank you for your explanation.
    English also has similar words and I suspect that revise may be to review as your additional word is. A revision of history is a common English phrase but again this does not change history at all. Merely the perception of history.

    Quote Originally Posted by Englishlanguage View Post
    However, when I wrote I didn't agree with you, I was referring to your opinion that history is immutable, not to the language question.
    As for this matter (I think it's a very interesting one), the problem is that actual history is nothing if people don't know it.
    I think Holocaust-denial is really emblematic of this. It's not such a long time ago it occured but there is people denying it.
    This is a bit like the existential connundrum often posed, "If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear is there any sound made?"
    The answer is a resounding yes.
    When Kraktoa erupted it is estimated that the sound wave generated traveled around the Earth seven times. That sound existed in Antarctica and on the top of Everest and the bottom of The Grand Canyon in places devoid of life.
    History happened and that is that. It happened despite my knowledge of the happening.
    You did not know that two days ago I hit my head quite hard. You may not even believe that I hit my head quite hard. It is entirely possible that were I to tell you how I hit my head quite hard you would deny me and call me a liar but that would not change history one iota.
    I hit my head quite hard in odd circumstances two days ago and that is history.
    The Shoah occurred despite any double digit IQ claims to the contrary. History is and no amound of bald faced lies by Nazi sympathisers will breath life into even one Shoah corpse rotting in it's mass grave naked and stripped of gold teeth and all human dignity.
    No amount of revision will change one bacterium that made up the walking corpse that was Adolph Hitler. I was just trying to think of a way to insult Adolph Hitler and I could not think of one word that would induce more revulsion than Adolph Hitler and I am an Australian. I can not go one day with not swearing but such is the depth of genetic revulsion toward that creature that Shakespeare himself at his prime would have simply called him Alolph Hitler and known that some things are beyond even The Bard.

    History is history and can not be changed.
    Recorded versions of history are notoriously malleable but this has never changed history.

    .,,

  7. #7
    Englishlanguage is offline Member
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    Default Re: to look back on/to or vs. review

    I agree with many things you have said but I still believe that unfortunately history is what we remember. Being able to know whatever happened in history, in every detail, would be every historian's dream but this is not possible. Of course, history being what happened in the past is immutable, but unfortunately we can not know that history.

    As for the language issue, if I understand, to revise history means what I wanted to say, doesn't it?
    How do you call Holocaust-denial? Is the word revisionism ok?
    Thank you

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    Default Re: to look back on/to or vs. review

    Quote Originally Posted by Englishlanguage View Post
    As for the language issue, if I understand, to revise history means what I wanted to say, doesn't it?
    I am still having huge difficulties with your flat out statements about the nature of history.
    For the sake of the discussion and my peace of mind I will read 'recorded history' when I see you write 'history' or we will be chasing each other around a connundrum all day.
    Review is to look at or consider.
    Revise is to change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Englishlanguage View Post
    How do you call Holocaust-denial? Is the word revisionism ok?
    Thank you
    Yes. For the sake of the literati discussing the relative merits of Pitt The Elder as against Lord Palmerston revisionism is acceptable but I do not consider it appropriate in the case of The Shoah which is an event that occurred within living memory and is an event that is not logically deniable so in the case of revisionists of The Shoah I believe that liar and bigot are far more appropriate.

    .,,

  9. #9
    Englishlanguage is offline Member
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    Default Re: to look back on/to or vs. review

    I have come across an interesting quotation that will make clear what I meant.

    There is no fact, but only interpretations. (Friedrich Nietzsche)


    IMPORTANT:
    Of course, I don't agree with a great part of his thought. I didn't deliberately choose a quotation by Nietzsche. There is Absolutely no hint to what we were talking about earlier. I am NOT pro nazi.

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    Default Re: to look back on/to or vs. review

    I pretty much disagree with most of the concepts attributed to Friedrich Nietzsche who must have had a hell of a childhood. Such an intellect but it is as though he was slapped across the face with a mop full of bleak every day of his miserable existence.
    Fact.
    2 = 2 + 4
    Fact.
    Pi is relative to the circumfrence of a circle.
    Fact.
    The Shoah occurred.
    Fact.
    To exterminate in excess of Six Million [6,000,000] people is hideous beyond words. Six Million men and women and children and babies and foetuses gassed to an agonizing death after having unspeakable attrocities performed upon them by sick and twisted creatures pretending to be human is like exterminating the population of the State of Western Australia three times and Western Australia is one quarter the size of continental Europe.

    Fact.
    I live my life surrounded by facts.
    E = MC squared.
    For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
    Momentum is the conservation of energy.
    Gravity works because of the attraction of every atom in the Universe to every other atom in the Universe.
    The velocity of light is a fixed constant.
    The speed of light is immaterial, illogical and makes no real sense.

    Fact.
    History is immutable and is changed not one jot by all the musing of a million philosophers chained to a million keyboards for a million years.

    .,,

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