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Re: Ruminations: Martin Euser

Jun 16, 1996 00:12 AM
by alexis dolgorukii

At 08:27 PM 6/15/96 -0400, you wrote:

>Indeed I think you have, old pal!  "Criticism" can mean (and in older
>English always did) nothing more than an attempt to penetrate the mind
>of the other person and thus to better understand their ideas.  Thus: to
>criticise your views on "core theosophy" (with or without caps!) would
>be to question your basic "givens" in the matter.  To put it another
>way, such a form of literary or philosophical criticism might question
>the accuracy of your findings, but not the sincerity of your quest in
>finding them. Whew!  Martin may well be attempting to use the word in
>this sense, and not the usual "popular" negative personal one where
>criticism is simply a posh word for "put-down."

Alan: With "criticism" in the sense of analytic exegesis, I have no problem.
Never have, never would. But we don't live in a period when archaic English
is cogent, and when I am told: "I will severely criticize you for your views
on GdeP etc", I do not think I am incorrectly analysing his meaning in the
modern popular sense of "Put-down". In american English (and I am American)
"criticism" has an unfailingly negative connotation. To me, at least, there
is an infinity of difference between "I will severely criticize your
opinions" and "I strongly disagree with your opinions". See what I mean.
Secondly, while it may simply be a personal idiosyncracy on martin's part, I
felt that what seemed to be constant sarcasm was a bit overdone, though this
too may be a problem caused by the gap between one who thinks in American
English and one who thinks in Dutch. That same linguistic problem may be one
of the reasons he finds my "ruminations" while certainly not entirely
objectionable, at least disturbing.
>The (English) English language owes much to the Dutch language, so that
>Martin's use of the word may be a little archaic to modern readers - I
>could be wrong, but I am *sure* he intends you no personal insult.

Well the Dutch contribution to the English language is many centuries old.
If Dutch has any really close linguistic connections they'd be with Flemish
and German. As to whether Martin intends me any personal insult. I would
very much prefer to believe that he does not, but I'm going to have to
"stand off" and see.
>In friendship and all that,
>Alan :-)
>Ancient Wisdom for a New Age
always in friendship


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