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Re: Making it volitional

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Wednesday, August 29, 2001, 14:02
----- Original Message -----
From: Dan Sulani <dnsulani@...>
To: <CONLANG@...>
Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 4:42 AM
Subject: Re: Making it volitional

> > > In the standard language. But in some dialects, one can > > > use "ignorant" to describe someone who willfully does not > > > notice as well. This is the origin of "ignorant" as a > > > pejorative: "You low-down ignorant son-of-a-bitch", e.g. > > > There would be no point in condemning people for > > > unintentional lack of knowledge. > > > > Oh yes there would, John! Think of human nature! > > You low-down ugly, old, retarded son of a bitch. > > Presumably, being ugly, old, and retarded, as well as > > "low down," i.e., of inferior class status, or the son of > > a bitch, i.e., a "bastard," are all unintentional conditions. > > Human cruelty loves to pick on conditions that its victims > > can't help, and this has been the history of human abuse. > > > This raises a question in my mind: > In a population of (unintentionally) ignorant people, if one of them > unexpectedly gets a chance to gain an education but willfully turns it > down, will he thereafter be condemned as "ignorant" (with the sense > of "ignorant by choice" being used perjoatively) by his fellows? > Could "ignorant" conceivably turn into a "praise-word"?
It's a term of praise in Ursula Le Guin's Left Hand of Darkness among the Handdara Foretellers who practice "presence" and who attain to "ignorance." "I'm exceedingly ignorant," says Genli Ai to one of the Foretellers, who laughs. "Enviable!" In America it's not called ignorance, it's called being "cool." The last thing some people want to be is a "nerd." Sally