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Semantics

DanT
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2/3/2013 3:59:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
There has been allot of misconception about semantics. Mostly by those who frequent the Politics forums.

Semantics or Equivocation is when you change the meaning of the word to suit your needs.

Example A - Semantic Reasoning;

A feather is light.
What is light cannot be dark.
Therefore, a feather cannot be dark.

Those are Homonyms, and therefore have 2 different meanings.

Example B - Semantic Shift;

The Tiger is a Man-Eater.
The opposite of a Man is a Woman.
Therefore, the Tiger does not eat Women.

Man-Eating refers to Man as in Homo-sapiens, whereas Man vs Women refers to Man as in the Male Gender.

Example C - Semantic Referencing;
A Man is obese when his BMI is over 30.0
Arnold BMI is 31.9.
Therefore, Arnold is obese.
A Man is also obese when his body-fat percentage is 25%
Arnold has a body-fat percentage of 8%
Therefore, Arnold is not obese.

Obviously Arnold is an exception to BMI classifications, because he is a bodybuilder. The BMI does not take into consideration how much of the weight is fat and how much is muscle. Semantically Arnold is Obese, but in actuality he is not; using the BMI on Arnold would be a semantic argument regarding whether or not he is obese.

Example D - Semantic Metaphor;
The Grinch's heart grew 3 sizes that day
Hypotrophic Cardiomyopathy can lead to congestive heart failure
Therefore, it was a bad thing that the Grinch's heart grew 3 sizes

Obviously the Grinch did not have Hypotrophic Cardiomyopathy, because his heart was used in a metaphoric sense; his heart did not literally grow.

Simply pointing out that someone misused a word is not semantics, but rather the opposite. For someone to claim that the 2nd amendment allows for government restrictions of arms because it says "well regulated" is semantics, because it does not fit the context of the second amendment, nor was it the implied definition.

Scientific terms and Mathematical terms cannot be subject to semantics within a Scientific or Mathematical context; unless they are categorical terms like "averages" (Mean, Median, or Mode). Economic definitions like"Elastic Markets", and "equilibrium prices" cannot be turned into a semantic argument, because they have fixed definitions.

Over-restriction of a definition can lead to Definition fallacies, as could under-restriction of a definition.
If I say a square is any shape with 4 sides, than I under defined the definition; rectangles also have 4 sides. If I say a triangle is any shape with 3 equal sides, than I over defined the definition; an obtuse triangle does not have equal sides.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
DanT
Posts: 5,693
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2/3/2013 4:16:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/3/2013 4:09:57 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
NOT politics.

Once again; "Mostly by those who frequent the Politics forums."
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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2/4/2013 12:21:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/3/2013 3:59:50 PM, DanT wrote:
Semantics or Equivocation is when you change the meaning of the word to suit your needs.

Semantics in the context of a debate, formal or informal, is when you focus on the technical definitions of the words your opponent uses as opposed to the concepts they are actually communicating. Which you do all the time, hence the need to start this thread.
DanT
Posts: 5,693
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2/4/2013 5:17:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/4/2013 12:21:45 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 2/3/2013 3:59:50 PM, DanT wrote:
Semantics or Equivocation is when you change the meaning of the word to suit your needs.

Semantics in the context of a debate, formal or informal, is when you focus on the technical definitions of the words your opponent uses as opposed to the concepts they are actually communicating. Which you do all the time, hence the need to start this thread.

No I don't. I never focus on the misused words in arguments, unless the word is in quotes. For example, if they misuse the phrase "well regulated" in a 2nd amendment debate. I focus on the definition of the words in the resolution, which is not the same as an argument. Definitions depend on he context, and if people misuse words, they change the context. I may correct people when they misuse words, but I never use that correction as an argument within itself.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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2/4/2013 9:41:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/4/2013 5:17:36 PM, DanT wrote:
At 2/4/2013 12:21:45 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 2/3/2013 3:59:50 PM, DanT wrote:
Semantics or Equivocation is when you change the meaning of the word to suit your needs.

Semantics in the context of a debate, formal or informal, is when you focus on the technical definitions of the words your opponent uses as opposed to the concepts they are actually communicating. Which you do all the time, hence the need to start this thread.

No I don't.

Really?

At 2/2/2013 4:22:05 PM, DanT wrote:
At 2/2/2013 1:52:09 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 2/2/2013 2:01:51 AM, DanT wrote:
No it's not. If I take a huge crap and say "I gave birth", does that mean I really gave birth? Or did I just miss-assign the term to a completely different act?
Let me ask you, if you take a crap, what authority declares that the words "take a crap" are associated with the action you just took? The answer is simple... Society.
crap is Middle English for the husk of grain. In modern English it became slang for something that is worthless or of poor quality. The modern English slang developed into a vulgar Modern English slang for feces.

According to the Oxford dictionary, Crap means "excrement" or "extremely poor quality" in both British and American English.