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    • Join Date: Mar 2009
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    #1

    i'm having problems using tenses

    I'm having problems switching from present voice to past voice and back. Thanks a lot!

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    Culture - Raymond Williams
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    Raymond Williams covers the evolution of the word “culture” and how we’ve come to understand it in its current form, exploring the various ways in which different Western societies from different time periods perceive and define the word. Williams contends that culture is “one of the two or three most complicated words in the English language” because of its hefty history and its ongoing relevance to various intellectual practices and systems of thought.

    Williams describes the development of the word “culture” as thus: he explains how the word is first used to refer to a literal, physical action, such as the “tending of the something” (e.g., crops or animals), and then how it later comes to be used as a metaphor for the process of human development. Indeed, its original meaning is associated with animal husbandry, but eventually starts taking in issues of “human tending” more directly, which in turn develops into our modern understanding of the word.

    According to Williams the current definition for culture as thus: first, as the independent and abstract noun which describes a general process of intellectual, spiritual and aesthetic development, from C18; second, as the independent noun, whether used generally or specifically, which indicates a particular way of life, whether of a people, a period or a group, from Herder and C19; and third, as the independent and abstract noun which describes the works and practices of intellectual and especially artistic activity.

    The actual usage of the word is to this date up for debate; changes in meaning are often intricate and meanings often overlap. In English, one meaning that is associated with culture is cultivation, the idea that people could be made “civilized,” that personal manners could be refined. In other parts of Europe, the development of the word carried the same meaning. Until the 18th-century, French of culture (cultur) indicates the matter being cultivated, and in 19th-century Germany, kultur is synonymous to civilization. In the 19th century, this unlinear quality of culture is contested. In his work, Ideas on the Philosophy of the History of Mankind, Herder proclaims that this definition is ethnocentric and validates European domination of the rest of the world. He advocates for the redefinition of culture; for example, he argues that we must speak of it in its plural form. Culture must take into account not only culture of different nations and periods, but also cultures of social and economic groups within a nation.

    The development of the word is complex and has long been associated with social and cultural development. For one it was greeted with much hostility around the late 19th-century, when society deemed culture associated with superior knowledge and refinement, but once the social and anthropological use of the culture became more widespread, much of the hostility towards the word petered out.

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    #2

    Re: i'm having problems using tenses

    Can you be more specific? Your essay shows an understanding about verb tenses.

    What does this mean in your last sentence? For one it was greeted with much hostility


    • Join Date: Mar 2009
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    #3

    Re: i'm having problems using tenses

    I'm not sure what to do with sentences that are specific to a historical period. While it makes sense to write them in past tense, it would break the consistency that I have going.

    Sample sentence:

    Until the 18th-century, French of culture (cultur) indicates the matter being cultivated, and in 19th-century Germany, kultur is synonymous to civilization.

    What does this mean in your last sentence? For one it was greeted with much hostility
    Ahaha...the author of the text talks about culture being greeted with "hostility" and I am kind of just paraphrasing. I should probably change the wording around. Thanks!

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