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January 21, 2013
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Aurie has the right of it.
Warsaw Will, stating that blues music is “simple” (or any other synonym) is neither “labeling” nor “designating” the term; it is simply “describing” it. Therefore, the statement is (depending on opinion) a misconception and not a misnomer.
No one in Mr. Blues’s original post was ascribing a name to blues music, whether appropriately or inappropriately. I do not wish to seem condescending, but we must use words to describe concepts, and such descriptions do not necessarily label or affix a name to something.
Well said, WW, but focusing on the spirit of the argument indicates to me that the girlfriend is right in this instance. The modifier of choice in this dispute is irrelevant, as long as it's erroneously pejorative (the little lady in question ought to put down the zills, pick up a six-string, and try to play the blues just once to see how simple it is). Whether she'd called it "simple music" or "remedial music", she'd still be guilty of a "misconception" not a "misnomer", simply because an opinion thus expressed is describing the type of music rather than misnaming it. Referring to blues as "bluegrass", though not as stellar an example as "king crab", would be a misnomer. Sorry, Mr. Blues. I hope the wine was good, and if it's any consolation, English aside, you were spot-on in your defense of blues music.
Paddy, there is a clear difference between the aims of many types of formal writing and those of autobiographical narratives such as Wiesel's classic; yet, to indicate that "some people are too stuck on" their misguided paths "to get that" would be incredibly pompous and needlessly antagonistic.
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