DefenceAgainstPostModernism (ThoughtStorms)

In some sense it feels like PostModernism robs us of the ability to speak when it subverts our words, claiming to find hidden meanings and prejudices within them.

I propose a bold solution to this problem. We define a new vocabulary of grammatical markup which seeks to formalize our positions with respect to such problems, much as mathematics and logic have tried to formalize certain other concepts.

Let me give you an example of what I mean. We are becoming used to certain groups reclaiming derogatory terms as positives. And this is something that I fully welcome. At the same time, there are many ambiguities about this. Who is allowed to reclaim a word such as nigger or queer or geek as a positive rather than negative. Does being a member of a group traditionally abused with the term give one a unique right?

Although I am not particularly interested in such derogatory terms, I am interested in them as a test-case for what I'm proposing here. So, let us take some arbitrary markup convention, for example {-nigger} and say that this stands for the word stripped of it's derogatory problems.

Please understand that I don't intend such markup to either : deny the history of derogatory use, or the reality of the prejudices behind it claim that I am someone who personally has the moral ethos or authority to reclaim the word.

Instead, the markup signals that I desire to use the word in such a way that strips all derogatory connotations from it. Furthermore it armours this particular usage of the word against future interpretations / deconstructions of its meaning. In a sense the semantics of the markup reference future discoveries. It specifies "whatever problems are uncovered in the future, this usage is explicitly designed to remove them".

Of course, the word nigger, stripped of its derogatory content is so empty it's hardly worth using. But some words will have more usefulness.