DougieLawson wrote: ↑
Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:06 pm
Heater wrote: ↑
Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:14 pm
As it happens I thought the mods were over reacting to your statement that used the term "educational baseball bat". That is so clearly not an appeal for actual violence or harm to anyone as they stated at the time. Use of the word "educational" being significant there.
Someone got their knickers in a twist about that. Hence my current warning to other signature readers/publishers.
Okay.... if this is what the thread is about now...
The problem is that language consists of more than just the spoken (or written) word. Intonation, emphasis, facial expression and other "body language" are all important as well to convey meaning.
Having spent quite a few years writing in an APA and on usenet, I know well that it is very difficult to convey the "emotional content" with just the written word. Failure to get the non-verbal portion of the content across can very easily cause confusion and lead to arguments that need never have happened.
I think it is unreasonable to expect someone who is not a native speaker to handle this added material well when native speakers have considerable difficulty doing so.
To take this particular concrete example, talking about an "educational baseball bat" (or as would be more common among people I know, a "clue-by-four") said with a snarl has significantly different connotations than if it is said with a smile. The raw words are the same. *How* they are said makes all the difference.
I have seen some very long debates over this issue. I have yet to see a practical, generally applicable, solution. And that's just among native speakers.
(And, if anybody has ever wondered about my posting style, that is why I make such heavy use of *<text>*, parenthetical asides, and em-dashes. I'm trying to add some "tone of voice" to what I write.)