Why do people say "Oh that's just semantics" as if semantics are a negative thing?
Semantics, the study of meaning - or concern of meaning is surely, one of the most valuable assets to academia?
I notice that people use "It's a matter of semantics" as a way to close down a conversation, implying that meaning is constituted purely on a subjective level, up for interpretation - so there's little point in a wider dialogue - as we can't agree upon 'one single truth'. Of course this has SO many problems, yet people say it instinctually.
This infuriates me - should semantics not be a doorway to open up possibility and conversation? Do people generally misunderstand semantics? Why does semantics have such negativity attached to it?
What does it mean when someone says someone is "Just being semantic"?
Semantic = relating to meaning in language and logic.
My pre-disposition towards semantics in a general sense, I think is "Playing with words" As if some academics use language as a cloak of intelligence, as a gateway to keep out 'lesser' peoples understanding their meaning (aka academic wankery)
Yet in philosophy especially, words are everything, especially say if you are philosophizing about language itself. One is speaking in a history, a dialogue that get's higher and higher, building on itself, this is semantic in nature.
People use semantics as a criticism because they do not understand - they have been left out - the author didn't give two hoots about inclusiveness, many can't do Kant.
This is why I love visual literacy. There is more than one way to tell a story.
We can get through the problem with semantics by employing more than one type of language. Semiotics exists beyond linguistics - semiosis is largely achieved through visualization, a large part of our brain is for processing visual data.
Design has the power to break down and expand our notion of semantics.
The work of Nick Sousanis is a divine example of such.
Viva la semantics.