- Mar 2017
those who fail are punished by the dislike or neglect of society.
Words having naturally no signification, the idea which each stands for must be learned and retained, by those who would exchange thoughts, and hold intelligible discourse with others, in any language. But this is the hardest to be done where,
First, The ideas they stand for are very complex, and made up of a great number of ideas put together.
Secondly, Where the ideas they stand for have no certain connection in nature; and so no settled standard anywhere in nature existing, to rectify and adjust them by.
Thirdly, When the signification of the word is referred to a standard, which standard is not easy to be know.
Fourthly, Where the signification of the world and the real essence of the thing are not exactly the same.
These are difficulties that attend the signification of several words that are intelligible. Those which are not intelligible at all, such as names standing for any simple ideas which another has not organs of faculties to attain; as the names of colours to a blind man, or sounds to a deaf man, need not here be mentioned.
In all these cases we shall find an imperfection in words; which I shall more at large explain, in their particular application to our several sorts of ideas: for if we examine them, we shall find that the names of mixed modes are most liable to doubtfulness and imperfection, for the two first of these reasons; and the names of substances chiefly for the two latter. (818)
See Jay Dolmage's book Disability Rhetoric
Is this Elaboration an attempt to think in a similar way? Or maybe even copy?
Disability Rhetoric is the first book to view rhetorical theory and history through the lens of disability studies. Traditionally, the body has been seen as, at best, a rhetorical distraction; at worst, those whose bodies do not conform to a narrow range of norms are disqualified from speaking. Yet, Dolmage argues that communication has always been obsessed with the meaning of the body and that bodily difference is always highly rhetorical. Following from this rewriting of rhetorical history, he outlines the development of a new theory, affirming the ideas that all communication is embodied, that the body plays a central role in all expression, and that greater attention to a range of bodies is therefore essential to a better understanding of rhetorical histories, theories, and possibilities.
In some ways this feels a little too close to the saying "there is no normal." Conversely, because of my interests in disabilities studies, this gets a little too close to the belief that "we are all disabled." How closely does this proposal align with those (verging on banal) mottos?