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March 31, 2014
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@Rashad: You're simply incorrect, as has been demonstrated numerous times over the last several years before you posted. I'm convinced you didn't actually read the replies. Providing an example where "social" and "societal" are interchangeable doesn't somehow invalidate the examples provided earlier in which the two words result in two different meanings of the sentence.
I have to know, how did you read these replies and still not understand what "societal" means? How do you think that "social studies" could be accurately changed to "societal studies"? What did anyone say that made you think that it *should* be changed, even if that was the case?
Either way, you either have no idea what "social studies" means, or you still don't have the slightest understanding of what "societal" means; I'll guess it's the latter, since even young children in elementary school know that history is included in social studies, which has no relevance to the term "societal" since it almost exclusively focuses on the actions of individual people and groups smaller than society as a whole.
On a side note, I don't know what backwoods hillbilly village you came from where people couldn't possibly figure out what "societal" meant, but in my experience, people understand it the first time they see or hear it. It is almost completely identical to "society", the only difference being that it has a common adjectival suffix at the end. Not rocket science,
Here's a good example of someone who isn't intelligent enough to understand something, and then draws the even stupider conclusion that it isn't just them: "truthfully no one knows what it actually means". Yes, yes they do. A lot of people know what it means. It seem to primarily just be you that's "confused", as you put it. It certainly isn't everyone. However, I do applaud you for predictably using the word "truthfully" to lead into a provably false statement (the word "actually" would have been accepted as well). It really highlights your linguistic mastery.
Also, "the word societal is generally poor English": No, it isn't. "Generally" or otherwise. You seem to dislike this random word for no reason other than "I didn't hear it from my redneck parents when I was a kid." Cool. Not everyone can have a mastery of the English language. But you have to be several levels of uneducated and self-absorbed to think that's somehow applicable to English in general, or to anyone at all other than yourself.
Before moving on, here's a few more obvious fallacies: "At least to most listeners", "the vast majority of people", "99% of people", and the list goes on. Needless to say: citation needed haha. Hint: There's nothing to cite because you're simply writing bullshit with no substance in order to make some questionable "point" with no regard for truth or reality.
The best part is, you use a few flimsy examples and write your entire post to try to show that in some instances, "social" can be used instead of "societal", but at no time in this whole discussion did anyone ever suggest that "societal" should always be used instead of "social", just when it's more accurate to do so, which means this extremely poor argument you've tried to make isn't even relevant to the topic at all.
Speaking of accuracy, this part of your post is both relevant and pretty funny:
"It becomes an issue of scale more than anything. For me, the word social already encompasses any sort of "shared" experience among people, be it a large group or a small one. I see no issue of scaling, and therefore, see no requirement for the word societal at all."
To respond to this hilariousness:
First, let me point out that plenty of people in this discussion already explained the meaning and correct usage of "societal", and they also defined "social" to include society as a whole *in addition to lower levels of interaction*. It's pretty stupid to suggest the idea that you don't see a problem just because you think "social" includes "large group" (which is something everyone else also "thinks" since it does include large groups, which has been stated many times over several years now, so thanks for not reading any of the other replies before replying).
Second, as was already explained repeatedly, the only problem with scale is that "societal" refers to ONE SPECIFIC scale, and "social" refers to MANY DIFFERENT scales in addition to that other scale. It's a problem with unnecessary generalization, not with scaling the way you've described it.
Third, you yourself pointed out that "social" includes "societal" within its large groups along with any small groups. Yet you somehow missed the problem with generalization and skipped straight to "I see no issue of scaling, and therefore, see no requirement for the word societal at all." As if that's why it exists, or as if anyone suggested that's why it exists before you did. It generally helps to actually address the topic or discussion that took place, instead of disputing some made-up nonsense arguments that no one ever said.
Note: This should have been as obvious to you as it certainly is to anyone else, but nearly no words are "required". We could remove almost any adjective from the language and still communicate without issue. We could even remove "social", just replace it with "interpersonal". That'd be much better because the base word "person" is way more common than "social", plus "inter-" and "-an" make it more obvious that it's an adjective and also what that adjective means. We could probably get away with the word "communal" as well, but I'm guessing you cringe at that word since it's some "bastardization" (
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