Originally Posted by mbrown3
...simply rejecting this (fairly common idea) that people always have to qualify what they say with a disclaimer about it being opinion.

Agreed, they don't usually have to. "There is no essential reason why someone would 'have to' clarify their statement with an, 'IMHO', 'in my view', 'I believe that' etc as this wouldn't affect the truth-value of the statement..."

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.

Sure, opinions don't need substantiation to be what they are (I can see how what I wrote is incorrect/absurd in the literal sense) - I was trying to say that without attempting to argue their truth/fact they are of little value, and so I wondered why you posted as you did. I get that sometimes it is just nice to express ourselves, our feelings, thoughts and opinions. Yet surely you see how I might wish you had given it some more context for me to derive meaning from. Stating that, "If done properly, controller > kb/m every single day" offers me nothing to allow me to believe what you say. Was this statement meant to be taken literally, or was it an expression of personal taste? Was it meant to troll people? How firmly do you hold this opinion? I am left wondering.

Again, I agree that it is not always necessary for you to elaborate for others to ascertain that this is indeed your opinion. I agree that opinions are often self-evident. I am not suggesting that we always need to announce our opinions for them to be recognized, nor am I criticising your original post (I already said I had no issue with it). I am simply arguing that phrases like 'in my opinion' have value beyond their apparent tautological use, and that you might have communicated more effectively had you used that or another similar phrase to provide more meaning to your statement. More to the point of our contention, I am claiming that opinions are not always self-evident, for example when the use of sarcasm implies the opposite, or when making a more complicated statement such as,'The Aboriginals of Australia are well known to have a rich cultural history', which by itself doesn't necessarily indicate this is also the author's opinion, beyond the opinion/claim that it is well known. So yes, sometimes opinions need to, or can benefit from, being clarified.

I was not disputing the self-evidence of your stated opinion. I was simply trying to add something relevant to the discussion, however unfortunately my original response did not make any literal sense which may have muddied the waters.

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.

Yes, I 'think' ;-) I can see the problem, however the risk of having arguments interpreted merely as trying to prove one is right shouldn't stop us from engaging in them with each other. No one is obligated to defend their opinion on a public forum either, however surely you can't be surprised when people may want you to do so, especially when raising such a contentious topic as peripheral supremacy. Regardless, if you're damned if you do and damned if you don't, it is up to you whether you want to say anything substantial or not.

Originally Posted by mbrown3

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?

As I stated earlier in my post, the use of sarcasm and making complicated statements can sometimes create the need for clarity. Additionally, the context into which a statement is made can make the use of such qualifying phrases useful. For example when, posting an unsubstantiated contentious statement and not wishing to be mistaken for arrogant. Granted, this only necessitates a qualifying phrase (albeit a tautology or something similar) if your goal is to avoid having your tone misinterpreted.

An opinion doesn't need to always be identified as an opinion. Facts need to be substantiated, not opinions.

Again, agreed.

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).

Out of control? In some instances yes, like for example a response you received ITT! Personally, I generally have a greater problem with people lacking a polite tone, clarity and substantiation in their forum discourse than I do people going over the top qualifying their statements, though YMMV. I do wish that it didn't feel so necessary for me to qualify what I say at times and I do agree it can be a real problem.

"Love one another and you will be happy. It's as simple and as difficult as that" - Leunig