Re: RES: [xmca] Objecting to objectification

From: Phil Chappell (
Date: Sun Oct 30 2005 - 03:18:36 PST

Dear Ricardo and All,

I have been working with English users/learners in a similar context
to yours, Ricardo (and others here on xmca), for 10 years here in
Thailand. I saw immediately an "inappropriate" instance of language
use that you made and that many of my students make - it is an
unfortunate reality that the indeterminate delicate social and
cultural constraints on language use in particular contexts are not
known to them and you, particularly as you and they are enclosed from
everyday activity where English helps shapes that activity. It is a
fact that one form of English or an other in most international
undertakings, and on xmca a western academic standard of English, is
the dominant tool for communication and shared consciousness. There
lies one tension, if not a contradiction.

In my experience with English language learners who are beyond the
level of struggling to share and build meanings with others because
of their lack of proficiency, it is the idioms, metaphors and
colloquial uses of English that get them into situations like these.
In my experience and opinion, it is not as simple as looking to first
language equivalents in thought to make a judgement on the meaning
intentions. But how else can an actor become more than a peripheral

I, like the majority I assume am happy at Mary's response, and the
thoughtful responses of everyone shows yet again what an
incombustible community xmca has become over the years.

To Mike's response, can I suggest that we have periods of language
use other than English on the list? I reckon a number of legitimate
peripheral participants just may enter into the main discussions if
the language were one that they were more familiar with. And there is
always a number of online translation services for folks like me who
couldn't keep up in Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese....... I
have learned much from posts that have gone to the lexical meanings
of the author's first language (for example, smysl and znachenie) and
expect I will learn more by struggling in another language.

Respectfully to All,


An added thought...over the years that I have been on the xmca list I
think I have had 4 or 5 private messages indicating surprise in one
form or other that my gender is male. I've never really thought much
about it, as I use my short name Phil for Philip, but perhaps there
are some answers to our questions to be found there. Two of the
messages were from females, I think...

On 29/10/2005, at 2:17 AM, Ricardo Japiassu wrote:

> Dear Mary Bryson and all,
> That was not my intention - misogynist sexist objectification of Dr.
> Setsenko's writings.
> What I want to say, using the expression "good girl", is that she acts
> according predictable academic constrains and rules.
> It was not my intention to defend or advocate any "private men's
> club" -
> neither a private women's one, or a private gay one. I just tried
> to share
> some thoughts using English as a foreing language - and I had never
> the
> chance to study it in USA or Astralia or England and just made a basic
> course here, in Brazil, many years ago.
> Please, do not move elsewhere. I promise be silent and act in a
> periferical
> (lurking) way. Maybe I have been pathetic trying to communicate in a
> language that is not mine. Forgive-me if you felt the expression I
> made use
> as offensive.
> I did noy know it has this sense in English.
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