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Advice (from Blargel)

Fragment of a discussion from User talk:Kapra
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There were a lot of times I had trouble understanding what point he was trying to make, sometimes because of poorly constructed sentences. I was just trying to help with that.

Blargel (talk)16:02, 28 May 2014

When I do this, can you point it out in here? If you want you can go back to posts you know of and tell me. But in the future, can you tell me if something I say is confusing?

Kapra - (Talk)20:47, 28 May 2014
 

One example I can think of off the top of my head is actually earlier in this thread. I had to read this sentence a few times to maybe understand what you were trying to say.

 
 
Like people like polar opposites which I've spent my life finding to be meaningless restrictions we place down just to make things comfortable, wanting everyone to confirm to these norms.
 

 

Honestly, I'm still not sure if I completely understand the intended meaning of that sentence.

Blargel (talk)01:27, 29 May 2014
 

That sentence was kind of a mix of formal and casual, and a few too many ideas. I can see why its confusing. It would probably be easier to understand if I split the ideas into smaller, separate sentences:

  • People like things being either black or white.
  • My entire life, I've observed and now think most if not all norms are stupid.
  • Most norms are pointless restrictions we place on each other just so we never have to leave our comfort zone. (Of course things like don't murder are good norms, but most seem like society's version of OCD.)
  • Being uncomfortable is NOT bad, there are a lot of things more important than comfort.
  • We force each other to follow these norms, it feels oppressive and hypocritical.
Kapra - (Talk)17:33, 29 May 2014

I don't think it's a mix of formal/casual so much as I'm pretty sure that sentence is grammatically unparseable. I think if you remove the first "Like" and add a comma or so, then it makes more sense, but that first word makes it really unintelligible. It comes off more like an incomplete sentence. I'd also say that "polar opposites" is a really bad substitute for "black and white". Black and white is used to describe the lack of a spectrum ("no gray area"), not being at the opposite ends of one.

Saiyr (talk)18:03, 29 May 2014

Yea, when speaking casually, particularly when speaking offline, people tend to start sentences with words like but or like. It's not that they're incomplete sentences, its still a complete thought. They're slang. The word like is short for it's like, just omitting the first word. If I was trying to be formal I wouldn't use the word like at the beginning of the sentence, but I was kind of trying to be formal but also casual, and it resulted in a mess apparently.

You're right, "polar opposites" and "black and white" are not interchangable but they can be a related issue. For example, masculinity and femininity. People create these ideas and bundle up being artistic, introverted, unintelligent, expressive, and unstable into femininity and scientific, extroverted, intelligent, inexpressive, and stable into masculinity. Guess what, these things have nothing to do with each other and have no business being associated with one another. Someone can be scientific, introverted, intelligent, expressive, and stable. We just like this idea of making things black and white, then saying you are not this way because that is the opposite of what you should be. To me, that says a lot about the state of society than an individual. I see this kind of thing everywhere. Maybe that's just because I might want to find it, that it might not always be there. I'm terrible at explaining things.

Kapra - (Talk)12:54, 30 May 2014

That has nothing to do with black and white, that's stereotyping. It's not even polar opposites. Polar opposites doesn't typically refer to supertypes like "masculine" and "feminine", also it expressedly refers to the speaker's opinion rather than presupposing the claim as a fact.

Black and white refers to a clear cut divide. Moral and immoral, typically. Where something is one or the other and there's no gray area (eg. people say murder is always bad, but then say war is okay; that's a gray area).

Kadalyn (talk)14:27, 30 May 2014
 
 

"Like, people like black and white, but I've spent my life finding it to be meaningless restrictions we place just to make things more comfortable for us, and then want everyone to conform to these norms."

Splitting it up would probably be a good move, but this is how it would be done in the spirit of your original utterance.

Kadalyn (talk)09:04, 30 May 2014