Monday, July 25, 2005

Random Punditry

What it says is what it's for.


Blogger Richard Wolfe said...

Not Random but Recondite Punditry!

Playing my usual gadfly role, and responding to the (emailed) comments of the ever-mysterious JIMH (below), I continue to believe that "recondite" comes closer to the truth of what we are. What we say is not random, though we may seem to randomly wander from one subject to another. Rather, we are very explicit about what we say and believe (though we often disagree with one another). What can truly be said about us is that we are unknown, a sideshow, making what we say -- unless this blog somehow begins to attract a following -- recondite.

The mysterious JIMH's defense of Random Punditry:

"I kinda liked the name I came up with, which is much better than others I considered. I also have a (currently unused) blog under the name "Misguided Punditry", but I decided not all of our discussions have been misguided, so I settled on random instead."

What kind of a reason is that? "Settled on" random??

Let's hear it for Recondite Punditry!

July 29, 2005 6:48 PM  
Blogger Jim H said...

Ricklepitch, ricklepitch, ricklepitch. You are wrong for several reasons:

1. Your own comment admits that we wander from subject to subject, apparently randomly. Exactly. You just put your finger on why I chose the right name. And now let’s talk about why your proposal would not be the right name.

2. In my dictionary, recondite is defined as follows: (a) not easily understood, abstruse. (b) Concerned with or treating something abstruse or obscure. (c) Concealed, hidden. You are focusing on the third meaning. On the rare occasions I have seen recondite used, it had the connotation of “difficult to understand.” I do not claim to be smart enough to say something difficult to understand. Of course, I don't use words like "recondite," either.

3. Recondite is a really ugly-sounding and -looking word. "Recondite Punditry" does not flow elegantly from the tongue, pen, or keyboard. “Random Punditry” is smooth and pleasing to the eye and ear. Ahhhhhhhh.

4. You have no standing to gadfly this one (yes, I just made a verb out of a noun, but we are striving for communication, sometimes at the expense of grammar). Your suggestions for the name were something like "chums chewing fat" (darn, I apparently deleted your email with the suggestions). Then when you got the invite to join, you wrote: "Love that name!" Now you sing a different tune in public. Creeping Bushism?

5. “Settle” as I used the word did not mean “accept something less than desired just to put it behind oneself’,” as you seem to think. It meant: “to put into order as desired; to reach a decision.” I liked Random Punditry, I said it was “much better” that others I considered.” That settled it.

6. Your suggestion is pendantry up with which I will not put!

Case closed!

July 30, 2005 12:40 PM  
Blogger Richard Wolfe said...

Case closed? Hah!

Regarding your Rebuttal No. 1, even if our former email correspondence could be described as random in this sense (and I would dispute even that, except for the few occasions when we explicitly attempted to dredge up a new topic so as to ratchet down the political heat), then this is a sense which can no longer apply, thanks to the Blogger comment facility's organizing capacity (which I am really coming to like -- we get to keep all these threads going, and Blogger keeps them organized for us).

Rebuttals No. 2 and 3: I hunted for a word to replace random (having developed a nagging feeling of dissatisfaction with it), and, using the thesaurus, I found recondite. Not only does it express what I feel we are (obscure and abstruse) but it enjoys spelling commonalities with punditry that make the title easier to remember (as opposed to "random," which is eminently forgettable).

Rebuttal No. 4: this is outrageous and uncalled for: transforming what were obviously off-the-cuff suggestions, mere brainstorming, into something akin to a legal filing. I will not be bound by this gag order!

Rebuttal No. 5: o.k., I see your point, "settled" in the sense of settled law ... like segregation before Brown.

Rebuttal No. 6: "Pendantry" -- hey, not bad ... "Recondite Pendantry" ... hmmm, I kinda like that ...

July 31, 2005 8:24 AM  
Blogger Richard Wolfe said...

Correction: Recondite Pedantry

July 31, 2005 8:32 AM  
Blogger Jim H said...

Let’s see, we’ve got the following substantive topics:

• Yes, but [about Justice-to-be John Roberts];
• - Longtime Tigers voice weighs in [about Ernie Harwell];
• Senate Moves to Shield Gun Industry [about stupid laws violating basic economics]; and
• Robert C. Jennings, U.S.M.R. [about a milk carton]

Obscure or difficult to understand? Hardly.

An ostentatious and inappropriate display of learning? Not.

Lacking any definite plan or order or purpose? Lack of predictability, without any systematic pattern? You betcha!

Verdict: Random Punditry on all counts!

July 31, 2005 12:18 PM  

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