RYAN KEIL (RYAN.KEIL@M.CC.UTAH.EDU)
Tue, 17 May 1994 02:31:00 -0600
On Mon, 16 May 1994, Byron Hynes wrote:
> So, *IF* the DRP says that only those who subscribe to it can be "the best
> kind of citizen", it must imply that those don't/won't/can't are NOT the
> "best" kind of citizen. If they are not the "best" citizens, they must be
> "lesser" citizens.
And, now a word from the Communication Department---
Yes, it is true. Using a comparative degree implies and causes one to
infer that there is a comparison; however, it is fallacious reasoning to
conclude that since language implies a comparison that the comparison
exists. This is like placing the ox before the egg [ a mixed metaphor since
fallacious reasoning is just that effective :-) ]. If a comparison
exists, language can, by logical conclusion, so indicate. The indicator;
howver, does not cause the comparison, but is caused by the comparison.
Simply stated, if there is but one degree of citizen, then all are the
best, while simultaneously, all are other than best since the comparative
becomes meaningless by lack of a comparator.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City