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Linguistic Subtleties (perceiving)

Sensi Star

Active Member
Local time
Today, 11:40
Sep 16, 2010
I've often been perceiving subtle errors / misuses made by others regarding the logical structure of language. I feel other people use language very loosely, arbitrarily, while INTPs use language with pin-point precision, becoming an engineer of words (consistent with independent INTP descriptions). A very common linguistic concept is the inability for one to perceive that slight change(s) in the order of words within a sentence can change the entire statement formed. The result is people using the wrong order of words for the statement attempting to be conveyed.

For example:

"Not everyone in the U.S. has a high risk for cancer."

"Everyone does not have a high risk for cancer in the U.S."

The effect here is a major change in the logical meaning of the sentence. In the former sentence, "not everyone" is not hard to interpret; it simply means "not 100% of people". The latter sentence is tricky: because the word "not" appears after everyone and before "have", it becomes associate with the word "have" rather than with "everyone". So "everyone + not have" in effect becomes the equivalent of "No one has" or "0% of people have".

Despite the 2 drastically different meanings achieved by the alternate ordering of "not", "everyone", and "has/have", people tend to use sentences like these 2 interchangeably.

In the interest of brevity, I'll save other ones for other posts. I would like you guys to comment on your opinion of if/how INTPs have a different relationship to language than other types do, and to include some examples of linguistic subtleties you have perceived.

Dimensional Transition

Bill Cosbor, conqueror of universes
Local time
Today, 17:40
Nov 3, 2010
the Netherlands
I'm very sensitive to these types of linguistic subtleties as well.

I'm not as good with them in English as I am with my mother language, but I definitely understand what you mean, and understand the example you gave.

Dapper Dan

Did zat sting?
Local time
Today, 10:40
Aug 1, 2011
I'll go ahead and agree with you, but I wouldn't say that this is a huge source of distress for me. The meaning of someone's words is usually pretty clear, regardless of accuracy.

There are, of course, situations where being technically correct is important, and in those cases I'll do my best to correct the problem.
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