[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Return to main CEDA-L Archive Page
Re: Change cards vs. underlining
Before a longer response is written, I am curious, why is adding words
OBVIOUSLY wrong? The examples which Matt Roskoski and others give, I do
not think, are parallel to the practice being criticized. No one has
defended the practice of changing language when the author intended
something else. Thus, the reasons are either:
* It leads to a slippery slope where abuse could occur. Or,
* Any change in meaning is wrong.
But, in both cases Adam's example of underlining would also be
problematic (as would the mere practice of cutting cards, I think).
Certainly underlining could be abused (as Matt shows). AND, it seems
clear to me that not saying exactly what the author originally said
(omitting anything) also changes the meaning.
To get a little more specific:
On Wed, 26 Oct 1994, Matthew K. Roskoski wrote:
> First, underlining is not different from cutting evidence...
> Underlining merely takes this to an additional level.
Matt is right. Both underining and cutting cards remove context which
changes the meaning of the words we are left with. Adam's example simply
highlights a common practice at "an additional level." BUT, this does
not explain why adding "or she" to "he" is different -- maybe is is just
"an additional level" as well.
> Second, underlining is superior to the alternative. Underlining a long card
> replaces the practice of cutting two short cards...
Fine. Adding "or she" when it does not change the meaning of the card
for purpose of the argument being made is also a "superior ... alternative."
> Third, underlining requires ethics. Underlining CAN be used to make a card
> out of context ... However, the same is true of cutting evidence.
True. Adding "or she" also requires ethics. You should not do it when
it changes the meaning of the card for the purpose you are using it. You
also should not do it in a way that cannot be checked upon.
BUT, MORE IMPORTANTLY, this undercuts the assertions of a slippery
slope. We trust debaters to be ethical when cutting cards, and when
underlining cards -- so why not when adding "or she"?
> Fourth, Adam has the distinction in reverse. Adding material is precisely
> what is objectionable. Omitting material is inevitable ...
> To add material is to WRITE cards, which is facially unacceptable.
Strong words -- but I would like more explanation of why. Let's take a
different example: A book discusses hate crime bills, but for several
pages, which make excellent arguments, the author only refers to hate
crime bills as "they" or "such legislation" and so on. If I am going to
quote these passages in an article it would be acceptable for me to
bracket in "[hate crimes legislation]" where the author wrote "such
legislation." Why is this "facially unacceptable"?
I think this example is very different from Matt's:
> if I put "(brutal violent criminal butchery)" in parens after
> "abortion", thus explicitly passing Adam's addition test.
> I'm still writing my own ev.
The point is, yes, debaters could be unethical. In the case of Matt's
example you are clearly changing the meaning, and in a way that we would
not have bases for assuming that the author clearly meant the change.
But, in my example, as in the example of sexist language, I believe there
is presumptive agreement that there is not a change in meaning (at least
not any more than the process of omitting material when we cut or
underline also entails).
More of a defense the next time I can take a break...
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Return to main CEDA-L Archive Page