Posted by Word Camel on November 11, 2002
In Reply to: Can ne1 help me, please? posted by Tamio on November 11, 2002
: You understand that things just happen. There's no need for an angry script that doesn't fit the occasion. Once you "vent", reconciliation is easier.
: People i've just struggle to find out what's the word vent means, but I can't understand even seek on the directory dictionary.
: Thanks in advance.
I think that "vent" is a verb on the move. One of the things I noticed on my return to the US from the UK is the tendency in teh US today to play down conflict and to glorify consensus to the point where debate becomes a sort of airing of views where nothing is ever resolved one way or the other (Unless it's a political debate in which case it is all about seeing which candidate can articulate the sounds bites closest to what the pollsters say the public wants to hear).
This has been reflected in language. It's no longer acceptable - at least in my experience here in New York City, to refer to something as a "problem". I've actually been taken aside and informed of this. Problems are now "issues". No one ever really makes mistakes any more, they have "breakdowns in communication". Differences are therefore seldom resolved. People merely "agree to disagree".
"Venting" in the way the poster used it has become the substitute for resolving disputes. Ranting and raving, blowing off steam, or having an emotional outburst is now deemed acceptable under certain circumstances. Interestingly, venting doesn't always actually refer directly to the thing causing the frustration. It is often just a display of emotion.
"After a horrible week, I just needed to vent." "Don't pay any attention to John's nasty, irrational post. He was just venting."
I have no doubt that "venting" makes people feel better in the short term but without anyway to solve problems and move on I can't see that it can ultimately going to be very effective.