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Defining words that aren't in the rez

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Has anyone ever used, or considered using, definitions of words that aren't in the rez (nor the plan text) for a strategic purpose in T debates?

 

In particular right now, I was thinking of reading the principal definition for a synonym of a rez word, and then arguing that the definition we use of the word actually included in the rez should be different from that, else the framers would have included that synonym word. EG, when reading a T - substantially violation for "substantially means material support" or whatever, one might define the word "significantly" ("a bunch, a whole lot, a proportionally large change"). If "proportionally large" was all framers intended, they could have said "significantly increase"; since they said "substantially increase", the resolution must mean something beyond "proportionally large increase". (Clearly on the nat'l circuit we would articulate in terms of predictability rather than "framers' intent".)

 

One obvious weakness is that it could be subject to reductio ad absurdum - if you read definitions for several synonyms of the same word with the intention of eliminating all of those meanings, you would probably remove all meaning from the resolutional word. 

 

Anyway, reactions to this particular idea? Anyone else ever thought of doing this? Other circumstances where you might define a word not in the resolution?

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One obvious weakness is that it could be subject to reductio ad absurdum - if you read definitions for several synonyms of the same word with the intention of eliminating all of those meanings, you would probably remove all meaning from the resolutional word. 

 

I think this is a reason not to do it. If "Big" was in the resolution and you defined "large" , it wouldn't make much sense. Some words are just total similes with each other.

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This strategy seems one that works well with terms of art....where meaning tends to be precise.

 

For instance "security assistance" versus "development assistance" or for instance, "Economic engagement" versus "________engagement"

 

Overall--the contrast of generic terms tends to decrease meaning (or at least risks it--ie this strategy should be used with a certain degree of caution in terms of its truth finding function or being a real position you can go for in the 2NR)......while the contrast of specific ones tends to heighten precision to a greater degree.  (obviously a bit of an overgeneralization).  

 

I think if you go in the generic direction it sometimes help to contrast that versus previous resolutions.

 

The non-inclusion of the word (particularly generic) isn't a reason the framers didn't intend for it to be debated or that it shouldn't be debated in light of the resolution and its context.

 

For instance, juxtapose the word grow and increase.  They didn't mean a growth context when they said increase.  Thats silly, absurd, and arbitrary.

 

Analogy: purchasing a get well cards.  You bought a letter with a particular sentiment--thats not mutually exclusive with the 100s of sentiments included in the other get well cards.  You can still mean those sentiments or hold on to those sentiments.  You're non purchasing doesn't mean you didn't mean some of the other things.  (this isn't perfect, but I think it captures the element of the argument)

 

Or for instance, if the word love was in the resolution--and we gave two definitions, its quite possible those definitions would largely agree and so not be truly mutually exclusive (at least in large-part).

 

Ergo, this is a false dichotomy at a minimum.  Its not an Either/or.

 

One more thing in terms of your specific definition.  As an aft I might suggest there is no basis and no evidence in the topic paper to suggest this interpretation.  If anywhere that would be where they would establish and ground such a HUGE distinction.  At a minimum it would garner a paragraph or footnote, but its entirely absent (presumably).

 

They could also provide another rationale for the

1) use of the resolutional term

2) the non-use of your term (but not included in the res).

 

Back to the core issue--you could also think this out in terms of the boolean operators that are possible--

1) total 1 to 1 overlap (total eclipse if you will--exact fit)

2) moderate overlap

3) no overlap

4) subsume of one in the other (this actually describes two, because either term could dominate)

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This strategy seems one that works well with terms of art....where meaning tends to be precise.

 

For instance "security assistance" versus "development assistance" or for instance, "Economic engagement" versus "________engagement"

 

Overall--the contrast of generic terms tends to decrease meaning (or at least risks it--ie this strategy should be used with a certain degree of caution in terms of its truth finding function or being a real position you can go for in the 2NR)......while the contrast of specific ones tends to heighten precision to a greater degree.  (obviously a bit of an overgeneralization).  

 

Back to the core issue--you could also think this out in terms of the boolean operators that are possible--

1) total 1 to 1 overlap (total eclipse if you will--exact fit)

2) moderate overlap

3) no overlap

4) subsume of one in the other (this actually describes two, because either term could dominate)

I agree that this is a stronger argument, and an argument that has actually been used at least implicitly in the past, for terms of art.

 

This boolean schema is really helpful, and clarifies my thinking a great deal. I believe that what I should have said initially is that, in addition to terms of art, there is some truth value in arguing, in cases where the resolutional term is a subset of the other term, that the more specific meaning of the resolutional term should be necessary, IE a definition that merely characterizes the more generic term is not sufficient. I think that characterizes the EG I started with about substantial/significant. What do you think about boolean structure specifically?

 

I agree that making this sort of argument for the other boolean relationships does not have a lot of truth value.

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