Date: 2011-08-04 12:14 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lhexa
Would the adoption of the theory that well spelled material is understood more easily count?

No, because the language would have the same terms, spelled differently. Different spellings don't make different terms; looking this up in a dictionary to make sure, "term" defers to "word", whose definition supports that one word can have multiple spellings.

Or, less obviously, do you think theories that encourage linguistic conservatism are also bad?

I'm not sure. If the linguistic conservatism emphasizes using fewer words for clarity's sake (for instance, avoiding "elegant variation"), that's fine. In that case, all the words of the language are still available to you, but you are urged to use a personally chosen subset of them. If the theory's the sort that says, say, "Never say 'utilize', say 'use' instead", then yes, that's bad, but almost negligibly so (if nothing else, "utilize" and "use" have different contexts). I also think a conservatism that seeks to bar the entry of new words into language is bad, though I can't say it "abuses language", because what it acts against isn't language yet. None of these cases are what I had in mind, though.

Or are you considering theories that limit language indirectly, instead of dealing with language itself?

Yes, the theories I'm thinking about generally aren't theories about language. A good example is Richard Rorty's philosophy: he claims that philosophical problems using words such as "mind", "thought", "emotion" and the like are unsolvable, and therefore we should gradually move to a language in which those words are no longer used, so that the problems will no longer exist. I think you can find theories which do something similar in a more subtle fashion, though.
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