[b-greek] Re: Grammars, Who Needs them?

From: c stirling bartholomew (cc.constantine@worldnet.att.net)
Date: Fri May 18 2001 - 19:14:57 EDT

Thanks for all the off list responses. One clarification is in order due to
an infelicitous choice of words on my part. Note the word "intuitive" in the
second to last sentence here:

on 5/18/01 12:36 PM, c stirling bartholomew wrote:

> Lets say that a general contractor takes a tour of a new building with an
> architect along for inspection. They are standing before a large wall
> covered with standard wall board and painted mauve. The architect points to
> the wall and states that this is wall board of the sub-type mauve. The
> contractor objects and says this is just standard wall board of no
> particular type and the mauve paint has simply been applied to the wall
> board. The architect argues vehemently that this wallboard is not only of
> the sub-type mauve but that it is also nailed to two by fours on 24 inch
> centers so that it is wall board of a very specific type "mauve 2X4 nailed
> on 24 inch centers wallboard." The contractor concludes that the architect
> is a nut case and drops the discussion.
> The contractor has an intuitive grasp of the semiotics of wallboard. The
> architect is a traditional grammarian.

What I am trying to say is that the contractor has a knowledge of wallboard
that is non-thoretical. He has to place orders for the stuff and see that it
is used according to the blueprints and according to code. He has a vast
amount of real life experience with the wall board but his semiotic model of
wallboard is intuitive not something he was taught in school. The
architect's theoretical model of wall board appears absurd to the

This analogy like all analogies is not perfect, but it is useful.


Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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