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it is all a matter of degree, or should I say 'degrees'? ;)
:(, I'm still out of the loop? Oh, wait maybe I get it. :)
Thanks remind, you're good with the inclusive language.
This thread seems to be a lovely example of the pile-on phenomenon.
I think I can fairly say, the consensus seems to be that people are unwilling to participate in the meta-discussion.
I would like to point out however, that those confused by what a meta-discussion is, have probably participated in at least a few here on babble. Any time you talk about HOW you talk about things, that's a meta-discussion. It's a fairly common occurrence on internet forums.
As I've stated a number of times, I'm was willing to let it drop if no one wished to engage the actual topic, so, dropping it I am.
Hmm. No one seems to have gotten what they want from this thread. Meta-threads often have that characteristic. The prefix meta-, btw, when used in this context simply refers to a higher order, like a thread about threads, or language about language.
The funny thing about meta-discussions is that you can't do the meta without the discussion--that is, you can't pretend to decouple the sociohistorical reality from the topic in order to discuss depoliticized formal qualities. It can't be done. Somewhere, somehow, the distillates and residue of the realities which spawned the discussion remain in the linguistic and rhetorical structures. So in that way, I agree with Cueball that any effort to relocate the discussion, to defang or sanitize it is either dishonest or doomed to failure (I say this without accusation or prejudice, btw--this is not always easily apparent). However I disagree with him when he says that any attempt to look at form is a distraction from the issue at hand. In fact, I'm inclined to agree with Yiwah that talking about the way we talk about things is a very fruitful and even powerful way to get deeper into critical questions on the left--but to detatch such conversations from their social and political realities is impossible.
I also agree with Caissa that this thread has become a very distatsteful pile-up on Yiwah--I'm not saying that everyone meant to do that, but it's a very uncomfortable thing to have to undergo, especially when Yiwah clearly began this conversation in good faith. So as much as there have been a few interesting things arise from this discussion, perhaps it would be best to put it on hold for awhile. Open another thread if you must, but consider waiting on it.
In the meantime, I'm closing for length.