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Poll
Question: Do you agree with the use of the term mythology?
yes - 30 (65.2%)
no - 4 (8.7%)
undecided - 1 (2.2%)
yes and no - 6 (13%)
other - 5 (10.9%)
Total Voters: 46

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Author Topic: The Term Mythology  (Read 8174 times)
Marilyn (ABSENTMINDED)
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« Reply #15: September 26, 2007, 10:35:20 pm »

Hmm...but isn't it their problem if they're offended don't understand the correct meaning of the word?

Call me crazy, but I refuse to substitute perfectly correct words just because someone doesn
t understand what a word means, or doesn't want to. :-P

I've seen that attitude expressed a lot, but I personally find it counter-productive.

I'm not a big talker, but when I do speak I am going for results.  I will choose my words specifically to make sense to my listener.  If they find the word 'mythology' offensive they are going to stop listening.  If by choosing a word or phrase that does not offend them, but means essentially the same thing, I can keep them listening I will choose that alternate word. 

Time enough once the dialogue has been established to bring things like different connotations of words into it, or to branch off into subjects like why certain words push buttons that synonyms leave unpushed.  The intent in speaking at all is to be understood, and to be understood you have to, at least at first, use the listeners range of acceptable words rather than your own.

If you ignore or dismiss the needs of your listener then you are really only speaking to hear yourself speak.  Communication is much more than that, and if you are not willing to work to achieve the goal of being heard and understood then you aren't actually communicating to begin with.

Absent

Edited to add:  I am only talking about spoken, real-time communication here.  Writing an article or a book, or even a message on a board, is different because your reader can put down the words and think about it, or go and look things up, or throw your book across the room if they like.  Writing for a specific target audience determines the words you choose, but it isn't possible to choose them for any one individual's specific  understanding the way it is when speaking.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2007, 10:38:25 pm by Marilyn (ABSENTMINDED) » Logged

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« Reply #16: November 04, 2007, 04:52:30 pm »

Hmm...but isn't it their problem if they're offended don't understand the correct meaning of the word?

Call me crazy, but I refuse to substitute perfectly correct words just because someone doesn
t understand what a word means, or doesn't want to. :-P

It's true that they ought not be offended if I am using the term correctly.  However, I find most people are more receptive to new information and ideas if they do not feel you are attacking their beliefs in the process.  Trying to word things in an inoffensive and somewhat PC way generally makes discussions with dogmatic individuals more productive.

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« Reply #17: November 04, 2007, 04:54:29 pm »

I've seen that attitude expressed a lot, but I personally find it counter-productive.

I'm not a big talker, but when I do speak I am going for results.  I will choose my words specifically to make sense to my listener.  If they find the word 'mythology' offensive they are going to stop listening.  If by choosing a word or phrase that does not offend them, but means essentially the same thing, I can keep them listening I will choose that alternate word. 

Time enough once the dialogue has been established to bring things like different connotations of words into it, or to branch off into subjects like why certain words push buttons that synonyms leave unpushed.  The intent in speaking at all is to be understood, and to be understood you have to, at least at first, use the listeners range of acceptable words rather than your own.

If you ignore or dismiss the needs of your listener then you are really only speaking to hear yourself speak.  Communication is much more than that, and if you are not willing to work to achieve the goal of being heard and understood then you aren't actually communicating to begin with.

Absent

Edited to add:  I am only talking about spoken, real-time communication here.  Writing an article or a book, or even a message on a board, is different because your reader can put down the words and think about it, or go and look things up, or throw your book across the room if they like.  Writing for a specific target audience determines the words you choose, but it isn't possible to choose them for any one individual's specific  understanding the way it is when speaking.

My point exactly, only worded better and more throughly defined.  Thanks.

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Waldfrau
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« Reply #18: August 25, 2009, 04:37:37 am »

Not having read the whole thread yet, so excuse me if I'm saying something already said.

Generally I have no problem with the word 'mythology', I don't find it offensive, but I rather use the term 'myths' because IMO it makes much more clear that there isn't a homogenous set of stories or even a religious dogma. 'Myths' doesn't give listeners the association of an dogmatic/homogenous system as 'mythology'. 'Myths' says that there's just a traded set of stories and lets the possibility open that they may contradict each other. (For example there are different stories about the origins of some Greek deities like Aphrodite.)
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« Reply #19: August 30, 2009, 02:19:20 pm »

This was brought to mind by a friend of mine after hearing someone remark, "Do you think the Gods/Goddess' or the Lord and Lady perhaps, hate to hear us refer to what might be history, however inaccurate, as mythology? It is like in the movie dogma when the Apostle says Christ HATES when it is refered to as "mythology""

Please elaborate on your vote if you like. Bright Blessings as all.

No, I don't use the term mythology because of the connotations that mythology carries with it.  I personally prefer cosmology as opposed to mythology because, at least to me, it denotes that this set of beliefs is an understanding of how the universe works on a spiritual level, not a collection of stories used to explain it that mythology implies to me.
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« Reply #20: August 30, 2009, 05:03:55 pm »

No, I don't use the term mythology because of the connotations that mythology carries with it.  I personally prefer cosmology as opposed to mythology because, at least to me, it denotes that this set of beliefs is an understanding of how the universe works on a spiritual level, not a collection of stories used to explain it that mythology implies to me.

I assume you are talking about metaphysical cosmology?
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« Reply #21: August 30, 2009, 05:04:29 pm »

I assume you are talking about metaphysical cosmology?

Yes.
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Carnelian
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« Reply #22: November 02, 2009, 11:40:04 pm »

This was brought to mind by a friend of mine after hearing someone remark, "Do you think the Gods/Goddess' or the Lord and Lady perhaps, hate to hear us refer to what might be history, however inaccurate, as mythology? It is like in the movie dogma when the Apostle says Christ HATES when it is refered to as "mythology""

Please elaborate on your vote if you like. Bright Blessings as all.

I don't think it's an offensive word, as myths are just stories with cultural significance.

I don't know about all cultures, but Greek myths do not always have religious significance. They aren't meant to be viewed as divine revelation, as many of the myths were the inventions of poets and varied by region. Some of the stories of the gods do have relevance to the cult of a deity, but not all.
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