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The first part of this--about meanings vs. sounds and uses--is supremely insightful.

The rest of the post is interesting, too.


The other day I heard someone using the word "shrill" to describe Rush Limbaugh, and that's when I knew the worm had begun to turn.

Mike Schilling

Sociopaths against empathy!

Scott Edwards

To quote Inigo Montoya "I do not think it means what you think it means". Empathy is merely the ability to understand anothers situation, feelings, or motives. Sympathy is the alliance to an empathic cause. Antipathy is the opposition to an empathic cause. Apathy is the absence or suppression of emotional concern. Sadists are empathetic to the pain they cause to others. They are merely antipathetic to the emotional state they place them in. Police Officers can be empathetic to a victim or suspect, but try to maintain a sense of apathy to get to the truth. Nurses are empathetic to the pain of their patients and sympathetic to the alleviation of said pain.
So in this respect I'm all for more empathic judges. But it's more what they do with that empathy that concerns me.


It's a feeble and wan attempt to replicate the (I hate to admit this) brilliant campaign by Lee Atwater (and then Newt Gingrich) to use the English language against liberals and Americans.

Check out this book by Geoffrey Nunberg. Fascinating study of linguistics and some of the NLP the Republicans used.

Ken Muldrew

Rumpole encountered a lot of judges without empathy; especially that fellow who liked to go to his club for biscuits after pronouncing a death penalty. It seemed to be Mortimer's opinion that most people rather preferred judges with no empathy (so long as these people were not expecting to appear before a judge anytime soon). I've got to say that the people around here seem to fit that opinion rather well. We have a recently retired MP who built his career on a promise to lock up misbehaving 12 year olds and throw away the key.

Matter-Eater Lad

"Empathy" always reminds me of that one Star Trek episode.

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