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  #21  
Old 08-22-2011, 03:50 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Originally Posted by Minxxa View Post
Mostly, I think it has to do with the tendency of many (most) people to overlook that their OPINIONS are just that-- opinions, and the tendency to think if someone else's opinion is different, then they are wrong. This goes for everything and anything you can have an opinion on.
I'll call BS on this. When dealing with terms, they either have a specific meaning--which makes them useful--or they don't--and that makes them useless. In the specific instance of the term "polyamory," it either makes a useful distinction among the forms of nonmonogamy or it's useless and not needed. It's not an opinion that "swinging" refers to something specific and that "open" refers to something specific and that, to be useful, "polyamory" needs to refer to something specific. It's all about having words that actuall mean something to differentiate between this and that and the thing over there.
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When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
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  #22  
Old 08-22-2011, 04:21 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Or you could sum it up like this:

Just because we disagree doesn't make me any less right.

Rawr.
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  #23  
Old 08-22-2011, 04:27 PM
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Bahalana Bahalana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutumnalTone View Post
I'll call BS on this. When dealing with terms, they either have a specific meaning--which makes them useful--or they don't--and that makes them useless. In the specific instance of the term "polyamory," it either makes a useful distinction among the forms of nonmonogamy or it's useless and not needed. It's not an opinion that "swinging" refers to something specific and that "open" refers to something specific and that, to be useful, "polyamory" needs to refer to something specific. It's all about having words that actuall mean something to differentiate between this and that and the thing over there.
I'll call BS on your calling BS.

From Wikipedia:
The vocabulary of English is undoubtedly vast, but assigning a specific number to its size is more a matter of definition than of calculation. Unlike other languages such as French (the Académie française), German (Rat für deutsche Rechtschreibung), Spanish (Real Academia Española) and Italian (Accademia della Crusca), there is no academy to define officially accepted words and spellings. Neologisms are coined regularly in medicine, science, technology and other fields, and new slang is constantly developed. Some of these new words enter wide usage; others remain restricted to small circles. Foreign words used in immigrant communities often make their way into wider English usage. Archaic, dialectal, and regional words might or might not be widely considered as "English".


My point is that English is a fluid language that is defined by usage. If we want to make up a word, and lexicographically Polyamory is a very recent acquisition, we have to fight with everybody else who may choose to use our newly invented word for the privilege of defining it. It is certainly possible for two people to have very different definitions for the same word.

A bit of trivia, the word awful once meant awe-inspiring, a little over three hundred years ago.
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Last edited by Bahalana; 08-22-2011 at 04:30 PM.
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  #24  
Old 08-22-2011, 04:29 PM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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Originally Posted by NeonKaos View Post
Or you could sum it up like this:

Just because we disagree doesn't make me any less right.

Rawr.
Very concisely put, thank you! And that is what I meant.
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  #25  
Old 08-22-2011, 04:29 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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I see a "divide in the poly community" right now, and it's not between the child-free and the child-full. It's between people who think that you can say whatever the fuck you want and have it mean anything you want any day of the week from place to place and person to person, and people who want to use language as a tool to communicate effectively and convey useful information.
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  #26  
Old 08-22-2011, 04:34 PM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutumnalTone View Post
I'll call BS on this. When dealing with terms, they either have a specific meaning--which makes them useful--or they don't--and that makes them useless. In the specific instance of the term "polyamory," it either makes a useful distinction among the forms of nonmonogamy or it's useless and not needed. It's not an opinion that "swinging" refers to something specific and that "open" refers to something specific and that, to be useful, "polyamory" needs to refer to something specific. It's all about having words that actuall mean something to differentiate between this and that and the thing over there.
This quote you quoted wasn't directed specifically at polyamory at all. It was directed at opinions in general. Marraige means different things to different people, and one person may have a certain idea of marraige and think anybody else who sees it differently is wrong. My point was what Neon said much better than me-- just because I do it differently doesn't make me wrong.

As for polyamory, specifically -- all that word means is many loves. And I don't believe that love can be defined in a way everybody would agree with, so how can polyamory be defined that way?
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  #27  
Old 08-22-2011, 04:42 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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I was at a conference recently where, during a session, one of the audience members stated that polyamory includes relationships where not everyone knew about everybody else. My initial gut reaction was 'That's not poly!'. I did not address it at the conference but have thought about this statement ever since.

For me, the ethical aspect of polyamory - honesty, communication, that everyone involved with me knows about the other people I'm involved with - is paramount in defining polyamory. The ethical aspect is what makes polyamory different. Without openness and honesty, it's cheating. Other people emphasize the 'many loves' part, where there is no love, there isn't poly. I happen to disagree.

Fortunately or unfortunately, polyamory is one of those squishy words that is in flux, and can be stretched to incorporate things that many of us find very uncomfortable. And I doubt it will be nailed down any time soon. I, for one, hope it retains some fluidity.

Last edited by opalescent; 08-22-2011 at 04:43 PM. Reason: grammer edit
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  #28  
Old 08-22-2011, 04:48 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bahalana View Post
It is certainly possible for two people to have very different definitions for the same word.
That doesn't make them both correct. However, of course, people can define how differently polyamory is practiced in their lives -- but that does not negate the fact that polyamory is not the same as swinging and visa versa. If you do both, you do both, but don't lump it all under polyamory. If you want to use one term for both, then non-monogamous is technically correct.

And yes, if I do want to be out about how I live my life, I often need to fight to make the definitions clear so that people know what I am talking about. I don't want anyone to think I'm a swinger when I say I am polyamorous.
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  #29  
Old 08-22-2011, 05:03 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minxxa View Post
My point was what Neon said much better than me-- just because I do it differently doesn't make me wrong.
That isn't what I said. I said just because someone disagrees with me doesn't make ME any LESS right. It's interesting you took it this way because I was agreeing with what Autumnal Tone said. I was saying that there is a right and a wrong answer to this use of language. Re:

Quote:
I see a "divide in the poly community" right now, and it's not between the child-free and the child-full. It's between people who think that you can say whatever the fuck you want and have it mean anything you want any day of the week from place to place and person to person, and people who want to use language as a tool to communicate effectively and convey useful information.
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  #30  
Old 08-22-2011, 05:25 PM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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Originally Posted by NeonKaos View Post
That isn't what I said. I said just because someone disagrees with me doesn't make ME any LESS right. It's interesting you took it this way because I was agreeing with what Autumnal Tone said. I was saying that there is a right and a wrong answer to this use of language.
Yeah, I didn't get meaning at all from your statement. But thanks for clarifying, now I know what you meant.
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