Thursday, March 15, 2012

A clear mind

There has been a mild storm in a tea cup on Fet over a word. Well a sentence to be precise. But it was the use of a single word that sparked off the storm. A storm that flitted across two groups, an assortment of memos and provided untold clarification as to why some should learn to brush up on their comprehension skills and turn down their emotional responses, before sallying off into discussion groups... mainly because someone almost always gets the wrong end of the stick and looks... well we will get to that.

Now some of you may be wondering what awful word it was that had so much power to cause so much destruction. That word was delicate... yes that's right the word delicate. It is a word which means sensitive in feeling or manner. A word that was used correctly and appropriately it would seem, given that it also means to be easily damaged and requiring tactful treatment... something that many proved was the case.

See it wasn't the word itself that was at fault, but the way in which it was interpreted to be somehow less than and the way that some tacked on the term "flower" to it. It is strange how that word is like a red rag. The really stupid thing is that it was originally used by someone self identifying as being a "delicate flower". Not by someone using the term at others, though frankly some didn't let that little fact get in the way. Oh no, when they ran with it and their butt hurties to another group, they omitted to mention that salient little fact. But we will get back to them in the fullness of time...

Firstly though we are going to look at what really set them off... it was the sentence itself. Actually it was more the language it was couched in. To be precise it was how they heard the tone in their head... though it would be fair to point out they were not alone in that bit of hysteria. See many of them read it and related it to some incident in their past. The tone set them off...
This brings one to an interesting point... because try as you might you cannot convince some that tone is all in their head. Written words don't have a tone... you have a little voice that reads them out loud in your mind.

Don't believe one? Read the above in a nice, bland, monosyllabic tone... go on, try it J
See all the heat and passion is filled in by you and your comprehension of what words mean.

Reading things dispassionately is a skill. You learn it with practise. You learn to read something and walk away, if you feel yourself having an emotional response to it. You learn to examine why you are having that response. You learn to reread when you are in a clearer frame of mind. You learn to keep walking away until you can get that clarity and actually deal with the content. You also learn to look up any words you don't understand and to not presume that your cultural assumptions about that word are the norm across the board.

Otherwise what happens is you get the slightly erroneous end of the stick... in this case that slaves aren't allowed to have emotional responses... and run off with it to another group. Where you start up a thread, they join in your hysteria and make bold and equally emotive responses and then you all end up looking... well... sensitive emotional histrionic unbalanced worked up... over being called delicate. 


MsSparkles said...

I am as entirely unclear as to why 'delicate' or even 'sensitive' are suddenly being seen as slurs, as I am by the fact that the word 'fuck' is so shocking on a website full of discussions about fucking.

Ms D said...

Seriously, piece, I could hug you for saying exactly what I'm thinking. But then, I thought it was a perfectly fair warning too. I wouldn't have batted an eyelid at it. I might even have offered to make him a cup of tea.

As you say. People need to learn to read.

lil said...

lol, I suppose this is not the best time to admit that I first thought your post was titled "A Clean Mind," and came running over thinking, a clean mind,here?!

Master's piece said...

@lil LOL Not too much chance of that round here :D