I've noticed that quite often nodes turn into threads
that don't debate an issue
so much as they argue about definitions
. Not that that is inherently bad
. On the contrary
, discussions that refine
definitions or explicitly present the various definitions of the same word or phrase are quite valuable.
What is objectionable (IMHO) is an argument about which of these definitions is true or (worse) proper. Sill worse is the argument that arises when the two parties don't realize that they are each using different definitions.
A trite example:
Jack (thinks): Foo is blue.
Jill (thinks): Foo is red.
Jack: The sky is foo.
Jill: No, Jack, the sky is not foo.
Jack: What? How absurd! The sky is most definitely foo!
Jill: Foo? Foo? What are you, from Mars?
Jack: * Flame Deleted*
Jill: Why you...* flame*
I'm exaggerating but not by much. It's silly, but it happens a lot; not just on E2 - in the real world. The two parties are arguing about two different things. It's likely that they would even agree, if they understood one another better.
This is sounding more like a rant than I meant it to, but it pains me to see so much energy being spent comparing apples and oranges. We might all get along better if we carefully defined our terms (or better yet, linked more).