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My thoughts on imaginary lesbianism - Her Most Regal Majesty, the Queen of Snark
void where prohibited, except by law
sesquipedality
sesquipedality
My thoughts on imaginary lesbianism
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simont From: simont Date: November 8th, 2007 05:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
When these arguments about self-definition come up, I'm increasingly tempted to start asking people, repeatedly and to obnoxious extent, whether each occurrence of them describing somebody with a particular label means
  • "<person> falls within the generally understood definition of <label>"
  • "<person> would be happier if they personally were referred to as <label>"
  • "<person> would like the word <label> to be generally used in a way which includes them"
  • "<person> thinks the word <label> is generally used in a way which includes them"
  • "<person> considers <label> to be in some unorthodox sense the closest match to their nature/opinions/whatever out of the available labels despite not technically fitting the definition"
  • other-please-specify.
I don't like having to get all pedantic1 about basic linguistic concepts such as the verb "to be", but I often suspect that people using the language of self-identification are either unconsciously or consciously conflating several of the above concepts.

you don't have a "right" to tell me not to define you as not a lesbian

I think this has to win my Best Use of Multiple Negatives award for the week. Good work! :-)


1. Warning: may not be true.
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: November 8th, 2007 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
*Applause* Thank you for stating that so succintly.

And thanks also for the award.
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: November 8th, 2007 05:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re the award

I wouldn't say that I'm not grateful that you didn't decide to award it to someone who wasn't me.

(You know, I can't even work out if that sentence means what I want it to mean.)
simont From: simont Date: November 8th, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
:-)

I think my personal best with negatives was, in a conversation some years ago about organ donation, "I'm not entirely sure I haven't just convinced myself that I wouldn't even mind very much if you couldn't [opt out]". I typed it completely without thinking, and was startled that I'd managed to insert four negatives without noticing. And I didn't realise until right now that the words "opt out" (which weren't included in the sentence as I actually wrote it but were implied by the context) must surely count as a fifth...
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