Analyzing the mansplaining
Sander Philipse
17716

The Wikipedia Warrior is a great subcase of the facile analyst you mention. “You’re wrong, because Wikipedia says…” Or, better, “The dictionary definition of ‘word’ is…”

There are folks who don’t simply ignore subtext; they either lack an intellectual structure that allows them to read beneath the literal to find the actual meaning, intended and sometimes accidental, or they’re clever enough and reject it because subtext provides ambiguity that challenges them.

I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had that parallel the “stupid poors” one you note. Someone says, “The person never literally used the words you said.” And no matter how you approach it, explaining to them that words paint pictures of concepts in our minds, and show other non-literal statements they conclude from the same work, they won’t be swayed.

When I was younger, I thought this was idiocy. As I’ve aged, I’ve decided it’s a combination of learned behavior and lack of sophistication.

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