In the free dictionary, which can be found online at http://www.thefreedictionary.com, a shortcut is described as a more direct route than the customary one and/or a means of saving time and effort.
What if the first part of the definition is true, but not the second; at least not in all cases?
Could some external agent, such as an individual or group, have managed to intrude into a project without being justified to do so or; without having the justification to intrude to the level which they do intrude? Perhaps the intruder is a mentor of sorts who has a right, or even a responsibility to enter and to participate in a task but not to manage the task. If the agent has the right to only suggest changes, but does not have the right to insist on the suggested changes, do they then go to manipulative means of exerting control? They could use such distractions as derision, “I don’t understand some aspect of the approach to the task therefore it’s flawed, or even meaningless as an application” thereby communicating to the one who is doing the task, as one communicates to a victim – or a sort of victim. A victim by way of being distracted into justifying what they have no need to justify to the derider yet is tricked into being distraced from the task at hand.
Shouldn’t the derider first be looking at their alleged lack of understanding and saying something more like, “I don’t understand so, I need more information.”? Would the best way to get more information be to withdraw; as long as the task is proceeding safely; and assess the outcome? Has self respect too often brought too low for this option to be seriously considered? Is an induced flaw; in the self respect of the one who is interfering with such manipulative means as derision; caused the derider to become a victim of sorts? Are they reluctant to admit to this, because of attached experiences of emotional pain, and (as a result) treat someone else as a victim – thereby seeking vicarious revenge by passing on the past injury to some one lower in the pecking order and spreading a metaphorical sort of spiritual infection? Does this illustrate the saying that “hurt people hurt people”?
However, this leads me to ask if “pecking order” is natural for us, the human race. One may see it in nature on a regular basis but, this is in animal groups that have a common social theme built on motivations which are similar, but not the same as, our motivations. Their sexuality, for the most part, depends on mating season and the female coming into heat. We exhibit something similar in the ups and downs of our sexuality, yet vestigial, as our sexuality is constantly available to us. Is pecking order something that we learned from the animals while interacting with them as hunter/gatherers and, later, as farmers? A vestigial remnant of a thing that, later, became artificially, and inappriopriately, active within the context of our ability to make more reasoned thinking than the animal groups?
And, what about the “and/or” in the definition which is used in the definition that’s used earlier in this page? Is it a short cut that expresses meaning in a way that does save more time and effort without sacrificing meaning? I have read that the use of this is being discouraged because it’s no longer employed much and, is dying out so that, perhaps, can be dispensed with so that communication can flow more smoothly. That which is being communicated via the “and/or” can be said by other means when (rarely) necessary.
Means which are at least a little more ponderous and may not be used enough for the best communication. Is this sort of trimming of such things making the language more efficient with a slight sacrifice in meaning? Is language currently evolving into smooth flowing and highly efficient, but meaningless, noise?
More questions than answers here but, I’m becoming more active here again and will seek to offer suggested answers.
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