Originally Posted by Robcat
Ha, I hear you. In much the same way I was attacking you right? wink As I say, don't mind me, I stayed up too late for the release lat night and started posting nonsense. Or, at least I was hardly clear. I just find the use of language when it comes to fact, opinion and so on to be very interesting and worth discussing, so I jumped into your discussion.

I never assume anyone is a troll and to repeat myself I have no issue with your original comment. I just thought I could add something regarding the, 'Why should they have to state it outright?' issue.

For what it's worth, I wasn't trying to be defensive, simply rejecting this (fairly common idea) that people always have to qualify what they say with a disclaimer about it being opinion.

Originally Posted by Robcat
BTW I thought your statement was clearly an opinion, though I did wonder why you would bother posting it without substantiating it

See, that's just the thing. An opinion, by definition, does not need substantiation. A fact, on the other hand, does. I think we get this backwards too often on the interwebz. We assume "facts" stand for themselves, but everyone has to offer proof/justification for their opinion(s). That's absurd (using the denotation of the word) and completely backwards. If I intended my statement as fact, I would have given evidence to support it. The fact that I didn't offer such evidence should be an indication to the reader that it is not being offered as fact.

Of course, I could give the reasons for my opinion but THAT can be taken as if I'm attempting to state fact, which (of course) does not necessarily follow, but that's how it is often perceived. So I didn't bother, and people get upset that I didn't bother. Do you see the problem? Adding reasons would seem like I'm trying to state fact (and offering the "proof" to substantiate it)...reasons which would then be fully picked apart...but when I DON'T cite reasons, people (claim they) don't know I'm stating opinion. Rock, meet hard place.

Originally Posted by Robcat

However, I would argue that such phrases have value and can add meaning to a statement or text.

Of course they can, but why do they need to?

Originally Posted by Robcat
They can help differentiate between whether the author intends to state a widely accepted view or venture a contentious opinion. They can add tone and show that the author recognizes that they are addressing a contentious or delicate topic, or they may act as a disclaimer for an opinion the author does not intend to substantiate with an argument.

But, again, why is this necessary? An opinion doesn't need to always be identified as an opinion. Facts need to be substantiated, not opinions.

I hear what you're saying, and I agree with your logic...I just reject the whole construct as unnecessary and superfluous. Please note that my response(s) are not intended to be argumentative; rather, to truly engage this issue because I think all of this qualification of what everyone says has gotten way out of hand. Whether people think I'm trolling, or arrogant, or...whatever...is on them. (Yes, I could do some things to forestall that; probably effectively. But all of this over-qualification is a bit out of control).

Last edited by mbrown3; 01/07/14 04:54 AM.