josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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11 Mar '13 02:01:38 AM

'…proceeding from the middle, through the middle, coming and going rather than starting and finishing.'

10 Mar '13 08:23:24 AM

Even in a single case, investigators and prosecutors (and defense attorneys) will try to come up with a 'theory of the crime'. —A kind of theory that seems innocuous, and indispensable, in comparison to the ones Wittgensteinians want to abjure. But look at the sorts of tests to which such theories are put; and note how they're tested by juries, by ordinary people.

10 Mar '13 07:46:37 AM

'Unfortunately, excuses are too frequently conjured to avoid doing an autopsy: the "obvious" suicide, motor vehicle crash victims, the 85-year-old man found dead at home with no medical history, etc. In reality, there are two very good reasons to autopsy the "obvious": one is that sometimes the "obvious" is not… and the second is that the public we serve expects answers to questions that are not necessarily related to the cause of death.'

10 Mar '13 06:24:57 AM

…an ethics of weights and measures, and not the burdensome and the immeasurable.

8 Mar '13 07:57:54 AM

When people on TV watch TV, they watch the news; and the news is about them.

They don't actually watch it; they turn it on, and see a report, and then turn it off.

8 Mar '13 07:15:22 AM

(… a juggernautish quality…)

8 Mar '13 12:51:37 AM

Grammatical remarks seem to ask for expression in the present tense. But suppose you want to make grammatical remarks about, say, watching television. What we say about watching television, and what we mean by what we say. A present tense remark would fail to acknowledge that television's moment has passed, that that's not how it works, that's not what we (have to) do. A past tense remark renders it too distant, makes it seem as if history is being recounted, while somehow omitting the particular kinds of historically contingent necessities one means to call attention to in making grammatical remarks.

8 Mar '13 12:36:00 AM

—Other things air, or run.

You have to catch them, or catch them again, or later, or miss them.

Or tune them out, ignore them.

7 Mar '13 11:47:47 PM

If there's a show on TV, or a program, or a broadcast, that's just where it is; but when movies are on they're on TV—being shown.