Monday, May 26, 2008

METASIGNIFICANCES

#1: get it

It's perhaps used a bit lazily at times, but when I recently stated that 'Tietchens (but in fact could be referring to anything) doesn't get it' in a recent comment I meant that in a quite nuanced sense. It isn't that he misinterprets it or misunderstands it even though the phrase is commonly used in that way. It is revealing of a deeper unspoken undercurrent of disharmony. These deep disharmonies exist between people and either manifest themselves in often rather small seemingly petty ways which act to hide the deeper issue, or in other cases our prevailing desire to get along with one another makes them elusive to the point of invisibility.

The it is a very small, seemingly insignificant, yet highly potent word that all of us use with casual abandon (as with many others I've previously discussed in the SIGNIFICANCES series). Of course often a very simple pronoun along the lines of 'what colour is your car? it's red'; and in contrast, a word that can encompass vast ineffable belief systems, for example, 'I really want to get away from it all'.

We'll tend to accept this latter statement without asking for clarification to what 'it' or 'it all' represents through a real-time application of our own unique contextual it domain. Arrogant perhaps, but the nevertheless fundamental nature of most discourse. In this same way, and going back to the original example, you can see that there's no direct way of explaining get it, so what follows is my indirect way that will really leave your head spinning and is the nearest thing I'll get to ever explaining my music. Don't continue reading to avoid that, even though it'd be a good sign.

Artistically speaking, if you hear it then you get it, if you don't understand it then you get it, if you understand it then you get it, if you misinterpret it then you get it, but if you want not to understand or interpret or hear then you don't get it. But you can't have the arrogance to experience it as if there wasn't something not to know, the knowing of which would make a difference, absolutely.

8 comments:

n-rich said...

Thanks William - great stuff. Get it... or get over it!

Thought you might be interested in the following excellent primer on animist languages: Rewilding the English Language.

William Bennett said...

great link, n-rich, many thanks - I'll study it over the next week or so and post some thoughts on it

the mullah said...

have always loved the use of the contraction "can't", being as one always has the capability not to do something, rather than is not able to do so - "I can not do X". that's always true! relatively recent addition to the English language, too. same with "don't", "-ing", etc. in addition, what is "it" that rains in "it is raining"? seems to me fundamental that an assumption is being made that presupposes "something", and not a process. perhaps the "it" of "getting it" might be described as such. just a thought.

William Bennett said...

n-rich, have had time to study at length the interesting link you posted: as with many of the commentators, I would question the factual basis of much of its content, there is also clearly a deeper philosophical agenda at play - those debatable points aside, these fascinating linguistic exercises seem to me really worthwhile in order to modify or redesign our own language to better achieve certain specific outcomes than with our rather arbitrarily inherited tools - thanks again for sharing the link

n-rich said...

I agree - the subtext is somewhat dubious, but an enthralling read nonetheless. Glad you liked it.

Miss Kerry said...

I can say truthfully, I have experienced all those statements while listening to your music.

Miss Kerry said...

There is nothing like a good communication disorder disability( in past ) to really understand how much significance most place on auto assumption that one defines things, indeed understands and comprehends things the same way- despite this being untrue.

But as I say today, yes Ive got ADHD as a second language. So does a good 1/4 of immigrants in the country I live in.
What makes me so different?
Nothing!!

Miss Kerry said...

I mean I have ENGLISH as a second language!
( Perhaps now Its gone second place, and freudian slip making its presence.
But Freud was a wanker. I do not have Penis Envy, which I subvert by desiring a baby.
But the Times he lived i...
today god only knows what they claim now, those Freudians, about our recent one and what it means dreaming your father is a table on Facebook.