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View Poll Results: Where should blame lay?

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  • With myself, I should explain more fully/clearer/etc.

    12 60.00%
  • With my audience as they are not up to the task of understanding me.

    3 15.00%
  • With me, as I chose the audience poorly.

    5 25.00%
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Results 1 to 10 of 36

  1. #1
    Anew Leaf
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    Default Where is the burden of proof in a misunderstanding?

    If you speak and are misunderstood by someone is it your fault for not being clear in your thoughts? Or does the fault lie with the other person for being inadequate to the task of understanding?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Gish's Avatar
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    It's not that easy and depends upon each individual situation.
    Whoops.

  3. #3
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    The burden is upon the communicator, because you can only take the audience as it comes. It is the communicator's desire that the audience receives the information, after all.

    However, that does not mean that the communicator is always at fault for a misunderstanding.

  4. #4
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    I would also say that it depends upon the specific rhetorical situation in question (since a lack of understanding on the part of the audience could be due to a number of reasons, not all of which are avoidable by the speaker...basically, willful misunderstanding or a lack of willingness to understand driven by some frenzied emotion) but since that's a boring answer I'll just say that in general, under most normal circumstances, it's the responsibility of the speaker to fashion their speech in such a way that it is not only receivable to their audience but also effective in persuading/moving/etc.,. That is, the speaker must have enough control of their audience to condition them to understand their message.
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  5. #5
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    We'd have to ask an impartial person.
    Assuming impartiality exists.
    Assuming it's possible to extract all the important variables.
    Assuming someone is objectively wrong.

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    A man builds. A parasite asks 'Where is my share?'
    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
    A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God... '


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  6. #6
    Senior Member Chaotic Harmony's Avatar
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    I believe it lies with me to explain things more clearly... I should understand my audience and their level of understanding and adjust my explanation to fit them. Just my thoughts.


  7. #7
    Bunnies & Rainbow Socks Kayness's Avatar
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    I second @onemoretime - it depends.

    btw, i like the third option. lol!
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  8. #8
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    The burden of proof lies with your mom.

    But seriously, I think it depends. Typically I think the burden of proof, rhetorically speaking, is on the person making the claim (which is why you can't make a ridiculous claim, have somebody say "that's a ridiculous claim," reply with "prove it" and not get smacked in the ear) but not every conversation is a rhetorical event. I would say that in most conversation/communication, both parties have a responsibility: the speaker to communicate clearly and without invective, and the listener to be open to what the speaker is saying instead of looking for ways to pick at the speaker's words and planning what they're going to say when it's their turn to talk.

  9. #9
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    The burden of proof lies with your mom.

    But seriously, I think it depends. Typically I think the burden of proof, rhetorically speaking, is on the person making the claim (which is why you can't make a ridiculous claim, have somebody say "that's a ridiculous claim," reply with "prove it" and not get smacked in the ear) but not every conversation is a rhetorical event. I would say that in most conversation/communication, both parties have a responsibility: the speaker to communicate clearly and without invective, and the listener to be open to what the speaker is saying instead of looking for ways to pick at the speaker's words and planning what they're going to say when it's their turn to talk.
    That's just a different type of rhetorical event.
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  10. #10
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    That's just a different type of rhetorical event.
    Not a formal rhetorical event, then.

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