Friday, January 11, 2008

"I think... " is an opinion

To the 10 people who read this blog, it is good to discuss the issue of blog decorum. BTW I wish to thank them -- even those who have a low opinion of this blog, I heartily thank them for educating me and growing me and letting me know who they are. I shake your hand if I could.

Over here though, in this blog, the only reason why I will delete your comment is that you got profanities coming in your post. You can heartily disagree and even think of me in a certain way...If you want to act as a fool too, that is your prerogative, correct?

Yes, you are entitled to say "LP, I think you are being dishonest and not fair, "I think you are being bigoted here" etc. I will publish that, and you will not be ex-communicated in my blog for that. In the interest of fairness I will not consider such a thing insulting, no, not necessarily. I do not think of myself as being touchy, I really can not work with people who are quite sensitive and can not handle proving questions. I used to be sensitive and touchy but pastoring cured me of that. Anyway, I believe the blog world, though it can be abused, is a source for ideas and aids to learning. Hence, dialog and inquiry and even challenging and direct questioning may happen.

When I was going for my FM radio broadcast license I was taught in radio broadcasting people are entitled to their opinions. This blog world is like that. I was taught that when a sentence is started by "I think....blah, blah, blah about you", the person is expressing an opinion, not a statement of fact. Do you think this is correct or do you think I was trained wrong? (OK an opinion of yours is coming ;-)

Perhaps in some parts of the world such preamble is not a signal that an opinion to which a person is entitled is on its way, I do not know. From what I know and from where I am, it is treated that way, and I act that way. Remember my profile statements , what is found here are my opinions. They are not endorsed by anyone but me. All are excluded, I claim no endorsement from the associations to which I belong.

The point is that anyone is entitled to an opinion and it is for those concerned to correct the wrong opinions of people by giving them facts, direct verifiable facts preferably. Opinions are not the same as facts, opinions can be shallow or stupid, but it should be granted to the individual. So if someone thinks of you blah blah blah, you are entitled to correct their thinking by supplying evidence against their favor, against their thinking. Opinions are not statements of facts, they are weak, they may be true or not true because they are perceptions and people can be deceived in their perceptions (maybe about you). That is my on opinion anyway..

For example, if someone says to me, I think the world is flat, or babies come out of trees, etc etc. I should be entitled to that. If you want to believe the holocaust did not happen that is up to you, you are entitled to that if you wish to be treated as a fool, that is your right. It is a free world.

I am allowed to think differently, now if you care about me, you can convince me by giving me facts as to why my thinking is wrong. If I am bull headed, then you are also entitled to stop taking what I say seriously, and have a pitiful opinion about me as well i.e. ignore.

So think of me as a poor benighted flat earth thinker so to speak, if that happens to be the case.

Yet opinions though they are not statements of facts may still be useful as there might be certain truths that may be of help in some areas of life. Opinions though they might be just that do not mean they have zero amounts to contribute. If you hire consultants, that is what they give you -- they give you their opinions. My work in consulting is like that - I recommend, suggest and express opinions. My credibility though rests on how I did my research ie was my opinion based on facts such that I can charge my clients for it? People pay a consultants because they can rely on their opinions (they think them wise ideas, i.e. consultants are wise guys).

Opinions often challenge others because by its nature it is often counter one's thinking. So rather than get fed up or easily hurt or exasperated, perhaps the better way is to maul the opinion over and correct it if it needs correcting or accept it if it is fair. Or maybe saying "I do not know, I may have to get back to you on that". This is what we do in the blog world and the places where we comment, that seems to be the nature of the game. Throwing the towel and crying foul easily is like being a kid who takes his basketball home because his opponents always block his shots.

Does that sound fair (enough)?


BTW, what I find sometimes confusing is in the rhetorics of things, the most problematic to me is the pronoun "you" - as this does not tell the reader if it is being used in the singular or plural.


Past Elder said...

Some English dialects solve this with the plural "yous" of "you" -- what do yous want on your pizza, for example.

I think it stems from the loss in current English of the second person familiar -- thou, thee, thine etc.

The second person familiar is always singular, and the second person formal is always plural even when addressing one person.

About all that is left of this is the so-called editorial, or royal, or papal "we", and the almost unknown contradiction in English of addressing familiar persons in what is actually a formal mode!

Of course, in that most beautiful and wonderful of languages, Spanish, there is no such problem, having both usted and ustedes as well as the familiar tu!

Usted being originally a contraction of Vuestra Merced, Your Grace, which is why usted is still abbreviated Vd and ustedes Vds.

I think the vuestra/vosotros in its full form has almost entirely disappeared in any form of current Spanish. Never heard a single PR use it anyway. How about PI?

What gets me is, based on what I hear of Anglos speaking Spanish they have learned in school, for example kids of friends of mine trying out their Spanish on me, they use tu for everything, whereas in my experience, apart from family members and close friends, being given permission to tutear, use the familiar for, someone is a big deal and signifying a depth to the relationship that wasn't there before -- certainly one would absolutely never address a friend of one's parent with tu!

Spanish as taught in US schools is not Spanish Spanish but usually correct Mexican, which is quite understandable, as opposed to Mexican slang which I don't get much of at all -- sort of like English taught in Europe is English English, or at least was when I was there, as that's what closest. How about PI? Do they still teach Spanish there, is it Spanish Spanish or a PI version, etc?? From what you said elsewhere, I would guess PI Spanish is closer to Mexican.

All of this being just my opinion!

Past Elder said...

PS one time years ago in a Mexican restaurant I kept hearing people talk about "peek-lays" and wondering what the hell that was if I'm going to eat any, and it finally dawned on me they were talking about pepinos, pickles, dumping the Spanish word for it for the English one but pronouncing it like a Spanish word!

LPC said...


Usted/Ustedes came to be more used as I recall. When I was in PI, my time, we were required 2 years of Spanish in High School and then 2 years again in College. I regret that i did not find the value in it when I was a student, until I got sent to Venezuela and also visited Mexico. The young ones I think are quite anti-learning of Spanish as I observe.

The formal lessons I believed were called Castillan, but it seems that the popular vernacular I think would have been Mexican Spanish. I tell you why. the naming using diminutive like "Lito" and "Lita" is quite Mexican or a mix of Mexican/Castillan. That is apparently rare as I recall when I was in Venezuela.

There is slight differences in speaking for example I think we would say "Yo" fully spoken but the Sur Americanos would say "Jo", We would say "Polio" for "Pollo" (chicken), they would say "Pojo".

It is a bit sad that the new Pinoys do not like to learn Spanish anymore, they are quite illiterate now compared to my grandparents. IT is quite different when it comes to dancing though. When they do samba, salsa, chachacha, all the music would be in Spanish and they have their own version of rueda too. So I find it amusing these young turks dancing to spanish songs and I do not think they have a clue but the beat is what they know. They dance very very well. When I go back to Manila, I will go to a dance school so that I can learn our Filipino style of Salsa, Samba it is amazing.


Anonymous said...

It really is too bad about the loss of number precision in the second person plural. 'Round these parts we make up for it by using "y'all" for the second person plural. There's even another option, sort of a comprehensive second person, "all y'all", which refers to each and every member of the group in question.

LPC said...


Over here we can use "youse" or "youse alls", but people here generally do not prefer it in formal talk.

For example if I say "I think you do not like Calvinists", the "you" there when taken as singular can come very in your face and personal, but it is softened when it is meant "you" in reference to a group, i.e you guys