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about +‎ -ness



aboutness (plural aboutnesses)

  1. The relevance of a text to its reader. [First attested in the early 20th century.][1]
    • 1982, William Cadbury & Leland A. Poague, Film Criticism: A Counter Theory[1], →ISBN, page 19:
      The experience of attending to how a good film works is a matter of understanding the composition and the inexhaustible flow of "aboutnesses," relevancies to the world that emerge from the interaction of qualities of meaningfulness that attend such a web of forms and connotations, such a design.
    • 1996, Brian C. O'Connor, Explorations in Indexing and Abstracting[2], →ISBN, page 147:
      Movie critics provide a good example of aboutness judgments. When some critics rave and others pan, it is not because they have seen different physical texts; rather, all the technical knowledge, topical knowledge, emotions and beliefs of each critic are being engaged in the construction of a response to the physical text.


  1. ^ “aboutness” in Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2002, →ISBN, page 7.