... rantings, ravings and ramblings of strange fiction writer, THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!!
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Sophistic Monosensicalism — Not to be confused with precision of use, Sophistic Monosensicalism is the insistence that a word only has one (narrowly specific and literal) sense, in an attempt to challenge the relevance of a statement in which that word is used in another (general and/or figurative) sense. For example, one might describe a key theme in a work as being the “marriage of opposites”, citing numerous examples, from the wedding of male and female protagonists to a recurrent checkerboard motif, from the use of the Yin/Yang symbol to the employment of burning lake imagery in which fire and water are combined, and so on. Where these features are self-evident, the sophistic monosensicalist will not challenge the accuracy of the observation but will instead insist that “marriage” refers only to the instituionalised union of husband and wife, in order to redraw the goalposts and exclude the weight of evidence; there is only one example of “marriage” in the work, they will insist, so this canot be a key theme. While this may take the form of a literalism that is technically justifiable on etymological grounds, it is distinct from nitpicking in so far as it refuses to recognise a universally-accepted generalised sense of the term that is included in the dictionary definition and is therefore incorrect.