Talk:communal understanding

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Discussion moved from Wiktionary:Requests for deletion[edit]

  • communal understanding — appears to be a private theory of User:Ourcivilisation, who's imposed it on other articles before (e.g. Civilization, which has been updated but still has his links; Conversation which has been fixed; multiculturalism; culture; etc.) A lot of his contributions seem rather POV (e.g. multiculturalism) and need cleanup in general, but I don't think communal understanding as a term meets the criteria for inclusion — the first page of Google hits are the Wiktionary page, the user's homepages, and several non-specialized uses where it is just communal + understanding. Or is this a little-used standard term? —Muke Tever 17:02, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
    • I agree--this entry does not appear to be a legitimate English term. RSvK 17:22, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
    • The term itself is perfectly good English. The first sentence comes close to the correct meaning, but the rest of it does go off into an idiosyncratic direction. I support keeping a revised first sentence, removing the rest, and adding quotations to show how the term is used in other contexts. Eclecticology 20:09, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
      • I'm not saying it's not good English — just that it may not be a compound word that needs its own entry. Kind of like making an entry for broken chair, does it have a meaning above the sum of its parts—for anyone other than the user who posted it? —Muke Tever 04:16, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
    • It doesn't even need to be a compound word. It's enough that it be an expression that's greater than the sum of its parts. Just quick Googling about I found
      "The Baltimore Symphony plays magnificently, with a degree of precision and communal understanding of the music that is rare indeed." from the Stereophile magazine website.
      "Music is a universal language central to every culture of the world. It has been used to entertain, communicate, educate, inspire, and instill a sense of social and communal understanding." from http://www.intelli-tunes.com/music.htm a site about using music to help children to learn.
      "Because Indians embraced a communal understanding of property, they had developed no sense of the concepts that comprised the heart of Americans' private law: torts, contracts, property, and commercial law." from the article Law and Society published by the Lincoln Library. The meaning in this one seems quite different from that in the first two.
    • Music, education and law for starters, a broad range of topics. Dealing with phrases of this sort is what lexicography is all about. Eclecticology 07:46, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
      • I've generally revised the article. It should be better now. Eclecticology 01:06, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
        • I might have misspoken... what I mean by a "compound word" is an expression that is greater than the sum of its parts, an expression used idiomatically. Red light (=stoplight, whatever color it happens to be) and crown prince (=heir to a throne) are examples of idiomatic expressions, while broken chair and upside-down sign aren't. In these examples I don't see any idiomatic use of communal understanding; it just looks like an understanding that happens to be communal—your second example even pairs it with a second adjective, social, implying that communal isn't felt any more closely connected with it than social. —Muke Tever 02:25, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
      • The question of whether "communal understnding" is an expression with an independent meaning could keep us wrangling for a long time without accomplishing anything. The important thing in the request for deletion was that it represented somebody's pet theory, and that has been fixed. I very much feel that if there is serious doubt about whether somethiong should be kept, keeping should be given the benefit of the doubt. Eclecticology 06:42, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
May I quote you on that?
While I'm not deeply offended by this term getting its own entry, there doesn't seem to be anything interesting going on here. None of these senses turns up anything idiomatic, particularly in the last case, in which the definition was evidently derived from a single usage of the term entirely from context and knowledge of the component parts.
It's entirely ordinary for a combination of words (or even an inflected word) to mean different things in different contexts. The two senses here derive from two different analyses: understanding as a community and understanding by a community. These in turn just stem from two different senses of communal. Move along ... nothing to see here. -dmh 21:46, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)