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Re: Appropriate analysis

Posted by TheFallen on October 10, 2004

In Reply to: Over analysis??? posted by Lotg on October 10, 2004

: : : : : : : : : : Hello dear friends:

: : : : : : : : : : my context:
: : : : : : : : : : "I integrate nonlinear messages from images, knowings, and interpretations of energy to help my patients - a potent alchemy that strengthens my practice of medicine.

: : : : : : : : Hello Smokey
: : : : : : : : albeit your failing to understand the meaning you gave me an excellent answer. by the way I misled you concerning the energy: it's supposed to be energy fields, and then it's obvious that it belongs only to the interpretations.

: : : : : : : : You never sleep?

: : : : : : : : Thanks so much
: : : : : : : : : : my question: does whe integrate images from all this things: images, knowing and interpretations, or does she integrate messages fromimages with knowings and interpretations. Do I have to apply the preposition from to all three factors or only to messages?

: : : : : : : : : : Thank you for your help!

: : : : : : : : : I see what you're asking. The straightforward or most linear way of reading this is to treat images, knowings and interpretations as parallel members of a series that includes all three, with the preposition "from" applying to each. A careless writer might indeed wish to say in this fashion that "messages from images" was parallel with "knowings" and "interpretations," but he would certainly be questioned by his editor, or ought to be. If we are going to seek other interpretations of the syntax we could even regard "non-linear messages from images" as one element of the series parallel with "knowings" and "interpretations." Since the meaning of the sentence is hardly obvious in any respect, one might ask if the phrase "of energy" applies only to the last member of the series, or to each of them. If I had to choose, I would go with the least non-linear interpretation of the syntax, that is, your first alternative, in which images, knowings and interpretations are the co-equal elements of the series. For the same reason, I would assume that "of energy" applied only to "interpretations," but with no great confidence, since I haven't a clue as to what the good doctor actually does or what the sentence really means. SS

: : : : : : : Miri, take heart. As Smokey has also opined, that sentence you quoted has almost no identifiable meaning - even to native English speakers. In my view, this is primarily due to the original author's lax style in both grammar and choice of vocabulary. Colour me cynical here, but the passage strikes me as the usual grandiose-sounding but inevitably nebulous assertions of some "new age" quack who has to dress his/her claims up in hermetic and mystical verbal clothing to distract attention away from there being precisely zero discernable and provable substance therein - what the heck is "a knowing"? And as for the usage of "a potent alchemy", oh please.

: : : : : : : A grumpy TF with no apology to tree-huggers - you're welcome to keep your brandished crystals. your lightly braised tofu, your Kirlian photography and your chakras... just don't rub my nose in it all if you want to be taken seriously.

: : : : : : You are totally right (I just hope that the writer does not visit phrasefinder). the style is very careless, as you have noticed from this short passage.
: : : : : : As to the content, her book became a bestseller and can we argue with that?

: : : : : : What is a TF by the way?

: : : : :
: : : : : TF = The Fallen
: : : : : WC = Word Camel

: : : : If you look at any bestseller list, in the US anyway, the mindless fluff floats to the top with some regularity. Readers in Europe and Japan tend to read more serious books. The US appetite for newage (rhymes with sewage) is further evidence of the failure of the educational system to engender critical thinking. All that being said, however, I object to identifying these superstitious morons with the term tree-hugger. It's entirely possible to be environmentally conscious based on scientifically valid concerns. As to crystal gazers, astrologers, spiritualists and other such pre-scientific primitives, they can wallow in their "knowings."

: : : Perhaps I was a tad wide-ranging in my condemnation of "newage", and therefore will excuse tree-huggers and tofu from my list of the contemptible. The chakras, crystallotherapy and Kirlian piccies remain.

: : : At this stage I am compelled utterly unapologetically to bring you the lyrics of that truly wonderful Denis Leary anthem "I'm an a**hole", which is a perfect antidote to all things newage and the overly politically correct - I commend it to you all,even if my asterisk key may give out before finishing a sanitisation that I'm grudgingly performing:-

: : : DENIS LEARY - "A**HOLE"

: : : (Spoken)
: : : Folks, I'd like to sing a song about the American dream.
: : : About me, about you, about the way our American hearts
: : : beat way down in the bottom of our chests. About the
: : : special feeling we get in the cockles of our
: : : hearts, maybe below the cockles, maybe in the subcockle
: : : area. Maybe in the liver. Maybe in the kidneys. Maybe
: : : even in the colon, we don't know.

: : : (Sung)
: : : I'm just a regular Joe with a regular job.
: : : I'm your average white suburbanite slob.
: : : I like football and porno and books about war.
: : : I've got an average house with a nice hardwood floor.

: : : My wife and my job, my kids and my car.
: : : My feet on my table and a cuban cigar.

: : : But sometimes that just ain't enough to keep a man
: : : like me interested
: : : (oh no) no way (uh-uh)
: : : No, I've gotta go out and have fun at someone
: : : else's expense
: : : (oh yeah) Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
: : : I drive really slow in the ultra-fast lane,
: : : While people behind me are going insane.

: : : I'm an a**hole (He's an a**hole, what an a**hole)
: : : I'm an a**hole (He's an a**hole, such an a**hole)
: : : I use public toilets and p*ss on the seat,
: : : I walk around in the summertime saying "How about this heat?"
: : : I'm an a**hole (He's an a**hole, what an a**hole)
: : : I'm an a**hole (He's the world's biggest a**hole)
: : : Sometimes I park in handicapped spaces,
: : : While handicapped people make handicapped faces.
: : : I'm an a**hole (He's an a**hole, what an a**hole)
: : : I'm an a**hole (He's a real f***ing a**hole)

: : : Maybe I shouldn't be singing this song
: : : Ranting and raving and carrying on
: : : Maybe they're right when they tell me I'm wrong
: : : NAAAAH!

: : : I'm an a**hole (he's an a**hole, what an a**hole)
: : : I'm an a**hole (he's the world's biggest a**hole)

: : : (Spoken)
: : : Know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna get myself
: : : a 1967 Cadillac El Dorado, hot-f***in'-pink, with
: : : whaleskin hubcaps and all-leather cow interior
: : : and big brown baby seal eyes for headlights... yeah!
: : : And I'm gonna drive around in that baby doing 115
: : : miles an hour, getting 1 mile per gallon,
: : : suckin' down quarter pound cheeseburgers
: : : from McDonald's in the old-fashioned non-
: : : biodegradable styrofoam containers... yeah!
: : : And when I'm done suckin' down those greaseball
: : : burgers I'm gonna toss the styrofoam
: : : containers right out the side, and there ain't
: : : a goddamn thing anybody can do about it.
: : : You know why?
: : : Because we got the bombs, that's why... yeah!
: : : Two words - nuclear f***in' weapons, OK? Russia,
: : : Czechoslovakia, Romania, they can have
: : : all the democracy they want...they can have
: : : a democracy cakewalk right through the middle of
: : : Tienamen Square and it won't make a lick of
: : : f***in' difference, because we got the bombs, OK?
: : : John Wayne's not dead--he's frozen! And when we
: : : find a cure for cancer, we're gonna
: : : thaw out the Duke and he's gonna be pretty
: : : p*ssed off. You know why? You ever taken a
: : : cold shower? Well, multiply that by 15 million
: : : times - that's how p*ssed off the Duke's gonna be.
: : : I'm gonna get the Duke and
: : : John Casavetti and Sam Peckinpaw
: : : and a case of f***in' whisky and drive...

: : : (Hey, hey, hey, hey, you know you
: : : really are an a**hole?)

: : : Why don't you shut up and sing the song,
: : : Chris. I thought I was the
: : : a**hole... all the time it was him...
: : : what an a**hole!

: : : (Sung)
: : : I'm an a***hole (I'm an a**hole, he's an a**hole)
: : : I'm an a**hole (He's the world's biggest a**hole)
: : : A *-* H-O L-E
: : : Everybody, A *-* H-O L-E
: : : Ay Ay-Ay Ay-Ay Ay-Ay
: : : A-thoom A-thoom-thoom A-thoom-thoom A-thoom-thoom
: : : Oooooooo

: : : (Spoken)
: : : I'm an a**hole and I'm proud of it!

: : : (Chris mouths: A**hole)

: : Who is Chris?

: I realise that Miri was asking for technical support to translate this paragraph. However, sometimes perhaps we get just a tad too technical. Some writers write things just to convey a 'feeling' or an atmosphere. It's not always about purism and precise grammar. If it was, we'd have no poets or songwriters.

: While it's easy to tear apart the technical correctness of this sentence and try to analyse it word by word, I'm sure when you guys read it - you got the message or the 'feeling' she was trying to convey???

: And no, I'm not a tree hugger, I don't do crystals or chakra and I haven't got a clue what a Kirlian piccie is (but I'll look it up on the net after I've finished here - cos I'm curious now) - but I don't necessarily feel I know enough about the answers to life and the universe to say they're wrong.

Yes... except the quoted phrase was hardly poetry or lyric. Instead it was self-congratulatory prose. I react badly to anyone playing the "mysticer than thou" card.