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Old 09-07-2008, 11:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
boykinmama
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 662
WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?

By Stephen L. Tanner

In reviewing my title after it was announced, I realized that it could mean different things depending on which word is emphasized: What are you thinking? meaning, What exactly is going on in you head? What are you thinking? meaning, If I have misunderstood you, exactly what did you mean? What are you thinking? meaning, I've told you what I think; now give me your ideas. What are you thinking? meaning, You couldn't have been thinking at all. Perhaps what I am going to say touches upon more than one of these meanings.

Have you ever stopped to consider how many synonyms we have for the words think, thinking, and thought? Some are part of our active vocabulary and are familiar friends—words like ponder, muse, reflect, reason, meditate, contemplate. Some are part of our recognition vocabulary and, although we may not be on intimate terms with them, they are not total strangers—words like ruminate, cogitate, and ratiocinate. Others stretch our recognition vocabulary and seem a little exotic—words like ideate,
mentate,
and cerebrate. Still others seem like creatures from another planet and have to be beamed up by means of a dictionary—words like perpend, noesis, and lucubrate. The total of these single-word synonyms makes a hefty list. Then when we add phrases like puzzling over, mulling over, stewing over, soul-searching, putting on one's thinking cap, and using the old gray matter, the list rapidly expands. I gave up my count at around 50.

JUST IN CASE YOU RECOGNIZE ONE OF THESE SYNONYMS, I THOUGHT I'D JUST SEND YOU THE WHOLE LIST TO BE SURE YOU COULD UNDERSTAND WHAT I SAID.

When I say you assail my words, it has to do with the ridiculing tone of YOUR words... and my knowledge of how many other times you have done the same and then claimed that I did it to you by "quoting" what I said but including words that I did NOT say. Most folks would say those tactics were beneath the level of ethics of debate, but my own opinion is that a lawyer would say just about anything in an argument. You alone have proved that. Ever heard the phrase "win at any cost"... "take no prisoners"... People who subvert their own principles to win an argument have no principles. And not all of them are lawyers.

Last edited by boykinmama; 09-07-2008 at 11:44 PM.
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