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Why is drivel so meaningless?

 
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I throw exception to the notion that drivel is meaningless.
 
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Not all drivel is meaningless, just the drivel that's found here. Drivel that is posted here that is significantly meaningful tends to be removed as not relevant to the named purpose of this forum.
 
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Is drivel inherently meaningless?

Definition of Drivel

Discuss !
 
Rick O'Shay
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What does it mean to define something that is meaningless? As you've proven, drivel has several definitions and, by extension, meanings.
 
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The symbol "drivel" has meaning; what it refers to does not. In theory anyway.
 
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Oh, like a C++ pointer!
 
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Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
The symbol "drivel" has meaning; what it refers to does not. In theory anyway.


What are we dabbling in here, Jim, post-Saussurean linguistics? I'd say it's exactly the opposite. The thing pointed-to is what has meaning. The thing pointing is what symbolizes that meaning. That is, 'the symbol "drivel"' has meaning only because you pointed to the fact of its symbolizing power. Or:

"drivel" -> (?)
signifier::signified

Jim -> the symbol "drivel" -> (?)
signifier::signified signifier::signified

Mike -> the amusing dilettante "Jim" -> the symbol "drivel" -> (?)
signifier::signified signifier: signified signifier's signified signifier::signified

Ergo, not only can we make something out of nothing, it's about all we really ever do. Hence, this forum.
[ August 04, 2005: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
 
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"Is drivel inherently meaningless?"

If drivel is inherently meaningless, then the term "meaningless drivel" is tautological: "drivel" would suffice. I believe the Gods (with a captial G) who lord over this forum must know that; therefore, the "meaningless" qualifier is required for the drivel.

Perhaps we should petition the Lords (again capital) with prayer for a "meaningful drivel" forum.
 
Michael Ernest
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For extra credit, who can give an example of a tautological tautology?
 
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
For extra credit, who can give an example of a tautological tautology?



Would that be a phrase that unnecessarily repeats itself, gives itself the same meaning more than once and restates the point?

 
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
For extra credit, who can give an example of a tautological tautology?



A tautological tautology is repetitively redundant because a tautological tautology is not a tautological tautology if it is not repetitively redundant.
 
Michael Ernest
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There are two definitions of "tautology" that I am drawing on here.

One is synonymous with a redundant expression. The other, in logic, is a conditional statement that leaves nothing out, e.g., "Drivel is either meaningless or meaningful."

I was thinking of "Is or isn't meaningless drivel meaningless drivel?" A better example from any wannabe William Safires out there?
[ August 05, 2005: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
 
Jim Yingst
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[Jim]: The symbol "drivel" has meaning; what it refers to does not. In theory anyway.

[Michael]: I'd say it's exactly the opposite.


In general I'd agree with you. We're talking about a special case here for drivel.

[Michael]: The thing pointed-to is what has meaning. The thing pointing is what symbolizes that meaning. That is, 'the symbol "drivel"' has meaning only because you pointed to the fact of its symbolizing power.

Rick O'Shay was the one who questioned how we could "define" something that is meaningless. I gave a quick, oversimplified answer which started to distinguish between symbols and the things they refer to. In this case I probably need yet another level:

A - the word "drivel"

refers to

B - the concept of drivel (the meaning)

refers to

C - various things described as drivel (e.g. posts in MD)

To answer Rick's question, the mapping from A to B (the definition of the word) has nothing to do with the question of whether or not C is meaningful.
[ August 06, 2005: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
 
Marc Peabody
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
There are two definitions of "tautology" that I am drawing on here.

One is synonymous with a redundant expression. The other, in logic, is a conditional statement that leaves nothing out, e.g., "Drivel is either meaningless or meaningful."

I was thinking of "Is or isn't meaningless drivel meaningless drivel?" A better example from any wannabe William Safires out there?

[ August 05, 2005: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]



I was actually shooting for that but submitted my best try when my server restarted. I knew you would approvingly accept my ventured attempt at tautological tautology or you would not approvingly accept my ventured attempt at tautological tautology. Oh well, I tried.

So why is it called tautology when taut means that something is concisely used?
 
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