Re: Article in the Wisconsin State Journal
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2015 06:47:13 -0700 (PDT)
> On Jun 30, 2015, at 9:58 AM, R Philip Dowds <rpdowds [at]> wrote:
> In a majority of the cases where I encounter a newspaper article, or see a TV 
> story, about something of which I’m exceptionally well informed, my reaction 
> to at least part of the story is, Oh no, that’s not right at all, what a bad 
> way to describe something-or-other! 

And there is the different perception of what words mean. “Giant dorm” might 
have been a positive description for the reporter.

For too many years I taught in a college program in which I had to do narrative 
evaluations. Sometimes students objected to my characterization of their work 
and would ask me to substitute a word that I thought was far more negative than 
the one I had used. Sometimes we could discuss it and find the “right” word, 
but sometimes they insisted their word was best. 

We’re going through the same thing with sociocracy — not only how to words 
translate from the Dutch into English, but what connotations do words have to 
people who speak English in Denmark, India, Australia, and yes, even London.

We know pretty much what commune meant in the 60s and 70s, but I wonder what it 
means to people born in the 80s, for example. 

Another research project! Changing perceptions of intentional communities as 
revealed in language.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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