Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Shaped Terms

When it comes to words shaping thoughts, I lean on the light side in how much I want to push things; I'm not that interested in reinventing general use of language.

Two areas I would like to see changes in how we usually talk about them:

  • In matters where one human has custody over another living being (human or not), we avoid the words we use for ownership. Already we take the custody-ownership analogy way too far, and using better language uncollapses those concepts. I would prefer we neither say "I bought a cat" nor "I bought a daughter"; the term "adopt" would be more appropriate. Or "took in". Or similar.
  • We stop using words-about-truth to describe positions we hold; we should say "I hold that POSITION" rather than "POSITION is true".
Analogy is a powerful tool, and I hope we wouldn't lose too much ability to reason over lightly-similar concepts that still have major differences.

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