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SA Answer Problems......
Jeremy Jackson
|     May 6, 2014
NW 3431
|     New Westminster
Maurice Druon: "Anarchy is as detestable in grammar as it is in society."

Uses of Language to Avoid in SA Question Answers

Describe the effect of the prevailing view in science on the impact and acceptance of new ways of thinking. Use examples from the text and from class to support your answer.

Example one:

"Within the effects that the prevailing view in science has on the impact and acceptance in new ways of thinking, there is a constant idea that has occurred for a long time. The ideas of paradigms and zeitgeists with a culture that relate to the ways of thinking and how they may change."

Problem: The grammar is so poor that the sentence is nonsense. We call this "word salad".

Example two:

"the prevailing view in science is often in the form of a paradigm; a set of models and outlooks towards the subject matter in a field, like psychology. A zeitgeist which is the makeup of factors such as moral, ethical social, cultural and religious views that contribute to the common perspective of a society in any given point in time."

Problem: Sloppy, malapropism, punctuation, grammar.

Example three:

"The zeitgeist is a common view or accepted way of thinking. For example, the way something is viewed at the time, influences the way we respond to it. Another example discussed in lecture was regarding problems or addictions and compared to how it is viewed today from the past."

Problem: Incomplete definition, an example that is a description, double-barreled example, awkward sentence structure, grammar.

Example four:

"The prevailing view in science is the paradigm by Kuhn."

Problem: Grammar.

Example five:

"This is an example of a paradigm war and its result. An example of this would be how psychology's subject matter used to be the brain and now it is moving towards the study of mental processes and behaviour. An example of this is Tiger Woods and how he cheated on his wife."

Problem: An example of an example, making things up, an example that is not an example.

Example six:

"There are two factors to consider when talking about the setting in which scientific theories are thought of and presented."

Problem: Colloquialism.

Example seven:

"New paradigms are incompatible with old ones. Different paradigms are fundamentally at odds with each other."

Problem: Repetition.

Why does grammar matter?

Example one: Consider

"Smoking is the cause of lung cancer" vs. "Smoking is a cause of lung cancer"

Problem: Only one word has changed but that change renders one of the sentences true and the other false.

Example two: Consider

"Smoking is a cause of lung cancer" vs. "Smoking is lung cancer"

Problem: One phrase is true, the other is false. There is a difference between what something is and what it is caused by. There is also a difference between what something is and what it is linked to.

Example three: Consider

"The engine accelerates very quickly" vs. "The car accelerates very quickly"

Problem: One phrase is true, the other is nonsense. The grammar of parts of something is not the same as the grammar of the whole thing. What is true of a part of a thing is not necessarily true of the whole thing. Engines do not accelerate, cars do. Parts of a car do not accelerate, the whole car accelerates.

Example four: Consider

"My thoughts weighed so heavily on me, that I could hardly lift them up."

Problem: Metaphor must be distinguished from literal use. This sentence conflates a metaphor about thoughts with a literal use of the term "weighs". Despite the fact that thoughts can weigh on us, thoughts do not have weight.

Example five: Consider

"John is a very fast runner" vs "John's legs are very fast runners"

Problem: One sentence is true, one is nonsense. The characteristics we ascribe to a person can not necessarily be ascribed to part of a person. People run quickly, legs do not.

Example six: Consider

"I have a broken arm" vs "I am a broken arm"

Problem: One sentence makes sense, one is nonsense. The second sentence makes no sense because it conflates a statement about a part of a person (broken arm) with the state of the whole person (I am). Notice that since the statement "I am depressed" makes sense, depression is a statement about a whole person, not a part of a person. It follows that my arm can not be depressed, nor can my leg, my heart or my brain. It only makes sense to say of depression that it is a disposition of a whole person, not a part of a person.

Example seven: Consider

"I had a pain in my big toe" vs "I had happiness in my big toe"

Problem: Pain is a sensation. It makes sense to speak of the location of pains. Happiness is an emotion and/or disposition. It makes no sense to speak of the location of emotions or dispositions. This is why the second sentence is nonsense.

Example eight: Consider

"The theory argued that paradigms..." vs "Kuhn argued that paradigms..."

Problem: Theories don't argue, people argue. This grammatical fact renders the first sentence incoherent and the second sentence coherent.

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