1 EAGLETON NOTES: On Paradigms and Things

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Monday, 8 September 2014

On Paradigms and Things

I arrived at Anna's late Saturday after a long lunch in Glasgow with David (of David and Molly Dog).


She recounted the story of asking her 13 year old that afternoon what she was reading.  The answer was "It's a book about subverting the paradigm."  Now I don't know about you but I certainly don't recall subverting any paradigms when I was 13. 

I do like this door at the end of Ancaster Square in Callander though:


23 comments:

  1. I have never knowingly been subversive. I never ever say .
    "The my Camper." I know that is silly.
    I have never been called a paradigm if that is any help. I have walked into a room and been greeted by.
    "Here comes Adrian the paragon of intellect, wit and virtue."
    Is there a difference?

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    1. A very subtle one Adrian. As for "The my Camper" I am, I admit, confused.

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    2. I must confess I obviously don't know what a paradigm is. I thought it was using a definite article with a possessive what's it.
      My grammar is awful but I usually remember interesting words. I'll away and look it up.


      I'm back, I've looked it up........

      "Paradigm" is probably the least similar word here. It means a standard, a widespread way of thinking or acting. A person typically isn't a paradigm the way they can be the epitome or a paragon. I usually hear the word in "a paradigm shift" (a shift in the prevalent way of thinking).

      "Quintessential" is the only adjective in this list; you can be the quintessential loner but not just the quintessential. It's a descriptor for someone who perfectly fits an archetype--not a stereotype necessarily. Think of it as the word "classic." Typically a positive-to-neutral word.

      "Paragon" is always positive. If someone is a paragon of scholarship or a paragon of cleanliness, they are the example that everyone admires. Thus they can't be a paragon of a negative quality, unless you're intentionally going for some sort of irony.

      "Epitome" is the most general way of expressing this representation idea, like "paragon" but not necessarily positive. You can be the epitome of slovenliness or the epitome of beauty. This is the safest word to use if you're not entirely sure if "paragon" and "quintessence" work; it encompasses the general idea but you'll lose some of the nuance.

      I still haven't a clue how to work it into a post or conversation. Did you by chance get the authors name? It's a book I'll avoid.
      I think that any thirteen year old reading such stuff should be given a gentle slap, an early bath, told it's not clever and be forced to watch the boxed set of 'Strickly.' or 'X-Stars in the Eye.'

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    3. Well, Adrian, I suppose that I should now be a little more knowledgeable. I'm certainly a little more confused but then that's not difficult for me.

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    4. You were, of course, right in the first place, Adrian. A paradigm, in grammatical terms, is using a definite article with a possessive.

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  2. I didn't either when I was 13, and I'm 27 now! :) Lovely entrance, the flowers are in perfect bloom.

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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    1. Mersad I didn't when I was 13 and I don't now that I'm 70!

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  3. I don't know about paradigms, but I love that door. I don't usually like hanging baskets (am I alone?), but this one is perfect.

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    1. You may not be alone Frances in not liking hanging baskets but they do lend a great deal of colour in the right places (and I do like them in the right places).

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  4. Iit's a lovely door and I am about to nick it for my "Doors & Doorways" collection - but since you are the owner of the picture, I won't do it without your permission.
    Of course I had subverting paradigms left, right and centre ever since I was 3 and had long given up the habit by the time I was 13.

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    1. Meike you can have any of my photos with pleasure. I take it as a considerable compliment. Of all my readers except, possibly, Monica I would have expected you to be a paradigm subverter.

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    2. I'm not sure how to take that...

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    3. As a compliment I hope Monica.

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  5. I love the photo and it would make a great postcard :) As for that book I'm not even sure that reading it would make me understand. On the other hand, I suspect there are some things one feels a lot more sure about at 13, than at 59...

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    1. Monica the strange thing is that we never actually learned what the book was.

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  6. I am with you there DawnTreader.

    I love that door. It looks very Narnia(ish) and seems to entice you to somewhere exciting. The other reason for loving that door is that it is NOT RED.

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    1. Pat you'll be delighted to know that Gaz's new super-duper front door is......red! Playing the Glad Game you won't be able to see it across the valley.

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  7. ...and I'd have trouble telling you what a paradigm is!

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    1. Red even if one does knowing how to subvert it is still rather a conundrum.

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  8. I think it is great learning new words and more being able to use them in the right context. But you would expect me to say that wouldn't you, being a teacher. When I teach my students new terminology or a new vocabulary I challenge them to go home and drop it into a conversation with their parents. Or I will put it into context by saying, "Now this is not a word that you would probably use at lunchtime with your friends, but when we write for this audience ~"

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    1. I think that's a really good practical way of teaching Carol. I'd be interested to know if you ever manage to get them to use 'subverting the paradigm'.

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  9. At thirteen I don't recall reading any books about subverting the paradigm....I did read a lot back then though....must have missed that one.
    Loved the door....very picturesque.

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    1. Virginia I've never read a book bout subverting the paradigm....ever. I love doors.

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