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9 september 2003

Noble vs. Vulgar

...or, no, not dirrdy THIS time (see defs #3, #4 below)

vul·gar (vulʼgɘr)

adj.

1. Crudely indecent.
2. a. Deficient in taste, delicacy, or refinement.
 b. Marked by a lack of good breeding; boorish.
 c. Offensively excessive in self-display or expenditure; ostentatious: the huge vulgar houses and cars of the newly rich.
3. Spoken by or expressed in language spoken by the common people; vernacular: the technical and vulgar names for an animal species.
4. Of or associated with the great masses of people; common.

A while back, I started making a list of things/ideas that many people seem to confuse, either by accident or conscious self-interest.

The one that comes to mind immediately for me is Andrew Sullivan, when his bare hand was metaphorically caught in the bare cookie jar, screeded on about privacy (noble), when really, he was only wanting secrecy (vulgar).

I've found it incredibly useful, paying attention to the difference between the two, when it comes to critically thinking about anything from politics to war to sex (as if they were separate things. Ha!) It's the closest thing to formulaic wisdom I have yet to discover.

So, here's a list of concept-pairs that people seem to be confused about. Or so I've observed.

NobleVulgar
Privacy secrecy
Strength to Disagree Contrarianism
Passion Lust
(Two People in) Love (Two People in a) Situation
Writing Typing
Ethics Morals
Present in the Moment ADD
Enjoying a High Being Too Fucked up to Remember
Post Ironic Jaded
Sexually Enlightened Promiscuous
The Difference between Sex and Love Open Relationship
Friend Acquaintance

Posted by jeff at 9 september 2003 10:21

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