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Author Topic: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons  (Read 8586 times)

FingerRod

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #120 on: September 23, 2022, 04:41:44 PM »
For that matter, the word “class” probably isn’t appropriate either. It makes sense for peasants, nobles, and priests, but not wizards, sorcerers, warlocks, barbarians, fighters, rangers, etc. These aren’t comparable social divisions, but professions.

Unless it was, you know, short for classification. Armor classification. Troop classification. Weapon classification. The types of things one might find in a war game.

Here is the problem. Words often have multiple meanings. Calling a fighter a class is just fine. Everyone knows what it means.

Playing the definition game with the socially stunted is a waste of time.

BoxCrayonTales

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #121 on: September 23, 2022, 05:19:23 PM »
For that matter, the word “class” probably isn’t appropriate either. It makes sense for peasants, nobles, and priests, but not wizards, sorcerers, warlocks, barbarians, fighters, rangers, etc. These aren’t comparable social divisions, but professions.

Unless it was, you know, short for classification. Armor classification. Troop classification. Weapon classification. The types of things one might find in a war game.

Here is the problem. Words often have multiple meanings. Calling a fighter a class is just fine. Everyone knows what it means.

Playing the definition game with the socially stunted is a waste of time.
In Japan they’re called “job classes.”

GeekyBugle

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #122 on: September 23, 2022, 06:24:22 PM »
Re Barbarians:

Counterpoint, Barbarian isn't a class it's a background, you could be a barbaric Thief, Fighter, Druid, etc.

Types of cultural background:

Savage (Stone Age)
Barbarian (Bronze/Steel Age, think the Celts, Vikings, etc before the Romans)
Nomadic (Steppes people, good riders, have steel are civilized up to a point, tribal)
Civilized (Romans up to the middle Ages, nation state)
Decadent (past civilized, too corrupt, given to vices, think the Stygians & Hyperboreans)

ALL cultures produce the 4 basic classes: Priest, MU, Fighter, Rogue. In different flavors, from Cleric, Druid, Shaman, etc...
Quote from: Rhedyn

Here is why this forum tends to be so stupid. Many people here think Joe Biden is "The Left", when he is actually Far Right and every US republican is just an idiot.

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

― George Orwell

BoxCrayonTales

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #123 on: September 23, 2022, 06:31:50 PM »
Re Barbarians:

Counterpoint, Barbarian isn't a class it's a background, you could be a barbaric Thief, Fighter, Druid, etc.

Types of cultural background:

Savage (Stone Age)
Barbarian (Bronze/Steel Age, think the Celts, Vikings, etc before the Romans)
Nomadic (Steppes people, good riders, have steel are civilized up to a point, tribal)
Civilized (Romans up to the middle Ages, nation state)
Decadent (past civilized, too corrupt, given to vices, think the Stygians & Hyperboreans)

ALL cultures produce the 4 basic classes: Priest, MU, Fighter, Rogue. In different flavors, from Cleric, Druid, Shaman, etc...
That’s an interesting way to structure it. It feels more sensible than arbitrarily assigning druids to treehuggers when in real life they were just another Indo-European religion.

PulpHerb

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #124 on: September 23, 2022, 06:32:18 PM »
Types of cultural background:

Savage (Stone Age)
Barbarian (Bronze/Steel Age, think the Celts, Vikings, etc before the Romans)
Nomadic (Steppes people, good riders, have steel are civilized up to a point, tribal)
Civilized (Romans up to the middle Ages, nation state)
Decadent (past civilized, too corrupt, given to vices, think the Stygians & Hyperboreans)

ALL cultures produce the 4 basic classes: Priest, MU, Fighter, Rogue. In different flavors, from Cleric, Druid, Shaman, etc...

Having RQ3 flashbacks as those were the cultural backgrounds, excluding decadent.

FingerRod

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #125 on: September 23, 2022, 06:44:31 PM »
For that matter, the word “class” probably isn’t appropriate either. It makes sense for peasants, nobles, and priests, but not wizards, sorcerers, warlocks, barbarians, fighters, rangers, etc. These aren’t comparable social divisions, but professions.

Unless it was, you know, short for classification. Armor classification. Troop classification. Weapon classification. The types of things one might find in a war game.

Here is the problem. Words often have multiple meanings. Calling a fighter a class is just fine. Everyone knows what it means.

Playing the definition game with the socially stunted is a waste of time.
In Japan they’re called “job classes.”

Another great example. I think my first exposure to jobs was Final Fantasy.

BTW, I also meant to comment on the Berserker point you made earlier (and maybe previously as well). It is a superb point. If I recall, OD&D also described what we refer to today as barbarians using the term berserker. And I *think* they even had something separate for barbarian, completely unlike what is used today.

GeekyBugle

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #126 on: September 23, 2022, 06:45:26 PM »

That’s an interesting way to structure it. It feels more sensible than arbitrarily assigning druids to treehuggers when in real life they were just another Indo-European religion.


Having RQ3 flashbacks as those were the cultural backgrounds, excluding decadent.

It's how I'm doing it in my totally not Conan game. In the backburner at the moment. I dislike playing is established IPs since we all know who is The Hero, it can never be you, you can be a hero and that's it.

So I'm making a totally not Conan setting/game from scratch.
Quote from: Rhedyn

Here is why this forum tends to be so stupid. Many people here think Joe Biden is "The Left", when he is actually Far Right and every US republican is just an idiot.

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

― George Orwell

BoxCrayonTales

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #127 on: September 23, 2022, 07:11:17 PM »

That’s an interesting way to structure it. It feels more sensible than arbitrarily assigning druids to treehuggers when in real life they were just another Indo-European religion.


Having RQ3 flashbacks as those were the cultural backgrounds, excluding decadent.

It's how I'm doing it in my totally not Conan game. In the backburner at the moment. I dislike playing is established IPs since we all know who is The Hero, it can never be you, you can be a hero and that's it.

So I'm making a totally not Conan setting/game from scratch.
Yeah, I don’t like settings with The Hero. It will inherently devalue the entire rest of the universe because everything will always be compared to The Hero. It might be good for a one off, but believable and adventurable universes cannot have The Hero. Let’s use real life as an example: is there anyone in human history who can be described as The Hero? No, because history doesn’t work that way. Akhenaton? Caesar? Napoleon? Hitler? They’re just names in history books. There were others before them and there will be others after them, until the end of the world.

This is the key difference between universes that grew around a licensed brand and ones created for play from the start. You can always tell, because licensed settings will spend the majority of their backstories describing how the fate of the universe hinged on some absurd soap operatic events involving three or four people a few years prior to the present. I find it very obnoxious.

GeekyBugle

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #128 on: September 23, 2022, 07:13:31 PM »

That’s an interesting way to structure it. It feels more sensible than arbitrarily assigning druids to treehuggers when in real life they were just another Indo-European religion.


Having RQ3 flashbacks as those were the cultural backgrounds, excluding decadent.

It's how I'm doing it in my totally not Conan game. In the backburner at the moment. I dislike playing is established IPs since we all know who is The Hero, it can never be you, you can be a hero and that's it.

So I'm making a totally not Conan setting/game from scratch.
Yeah, I don’t like settings with The Hero. It will inherently devalue the entire rest of the universe because everything will always be compared to The Hero. It might be good for a one off, but believable and adventurable universes cannot have The Hero. Let’s use real life as an example: is there anyone in human history who can be described as The Hero? No, because history doesn’t work that way. Akhenaton? Caesar? Napoleon? Hitler? They’re just names in history books. There were others before them and there will be others after them, until the end of the world.

This is the key difference between universes that grew around a licensed brand and ones created for play from the start. You can always tell, because licensed settings will spend the majority of their backstories describing how the fate of the universe hinged on some absurd soap operatic events involving three or four people a few years prior to the present. I find it very obnoxious.

Preach it bro!
Quote from: Rhedyn

Here is why this forum tends to be so stupid. Many people here think Joe Biden is "The Left", when he is actually Far Right and every US republican is just an idiot.

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

― George Orwell

Lunamancer

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #129 on: September 23, 2022, 11:12:09 PM »
Barbarian really just meant “those who are not of our ‘superior’ society and culture.” It’s purely an exonym used to describe other groups. If you were not Greek (or later Roman), the you were a barbarian.

So if you're playing a Barbarian in D&D, does that mean you spontaneously lose your class when you're among your own people? Or is it that PCs are just barred from the class entirely, since Barbarians are always those other people?

Or is it simply the case that you chose to work off of a definition that makes absolutely no sense in the context of talking about a D&D class?

Your argument is specious.

No. Definitions are not arguments, specious or otherwise.

Quote
Even synonyms have unshared shades of meaning.  You can't just assume that everything that applies to one word also applies to another.

Who says I did? You're assuming I've assumed things. I considered the fact, for instance, that one of the things Barbarians refer to is a native of Barbary or Barbary Pirates. But that doesn't exactly square with the skills and abilities for the class. They've got skills for wilderness survival (just called survival) and a couple of related skills to that. But not a profession/sailing skill or knowledge/navigation. So I have to reject that as a definition as it has no place in this context. And a lot of others went out the window, too. The one I'm using is reasonable and consistent. And it's actually on topic.

Quote
Also, just glanced at a dictionary,

Well, maybe have enough basic respect to do a little more research than that next time. And be a little more thoughtful in ensuring what findings you present actually fit the context and address the issue at hand.

Quote
there was no mention of "inhabiting their native land."  Easy counterpoint:  the vikings in North America for a short while were both savage barbarians, but certainly were not indigenous.

For a short while doesn't count for anything. A few hours ago I walked to the store. I mean, I came back. But are you going to say that during the 10 minutes I shopped that my home was no longer my home? I've got friends who are Portuguese immigrants who have by this point lived 90% of their lives here. Some of them are even American citizens. And their big plan when they retire is to go back to Portugal where the cost of living is lower and Social Security is not taxable for 5 years. Are they not Portuguese having lived the majority of their lives in America? Your easy counterpoint is complete nonsense and a weak attempt at playing word games.

More importantly as it pertains to anything relevant here, does an indigenous person suddenly lose their skills or abilities when they cross a border or sea? Do they lose their culture, religion, or language? Does their ancestry change? Are there any changes at all to their characteristics? No? Then insofar that this is a discussion about a D&D class, you're entirely off-topic.


Unless it was, you know, short for classification. Armor classification. Troop classification. Weapon classification. The types of things one might find in a war game.

My first thought exactly. My second thought, though, was to remember when I was a kid, that the word "class" made me think of like a class in school. Not social class. I could imagine taking a class learning how to fight. Or how to thieve. Or how to use magic. My cousin attended catechism every Sunday, so there could definitely be a cleric class.

And then my third thought was, while D&D definitely does have some notes on social class, Gary focused more on it on his later fantasy RPGs. And in those, Vocations in Dangerous Journeys, Orders in Lejendary Adventure, those class-like structures were also closely tied with social class. Once you realize that this is a thing Gary did consistently everywhere else, you have to wonder if it was also intended this way in D&D and that it was just one of those things that didn't survive the cutting room floor.

I think there's something to it. That Gary chose class to mean, yes, classification, obviously, but that these classes were also classes you could have in school (hence training requirements to level up) and also tied into social class (hence name level, the ability to attract followers, and in the 1E PHB, some of the classes even had notes as to taxes they were entitled to collect, but not all classes, because some classes were classier than others). Which also meant those outside of the dominant social structure (demi-humans) might experience limits in the level to which they can rise due to, if nothing else, "glass ceilings."

Class was the perfect term and no game designer standing on the shoulder of giants is going to improve on the term, even though they might frequently believe they have.

Quote
Here is the problem. Words often have multiple meanings. Calling a fighter a class is just fine. Everyone knows what it means.

Playing the definition game with the socially stunted is a waste of time.

Yeah. In 2022, any wanker can google search a cherry picked definition of a word in 30 seconds while still jerking off with their other hand. There's nothing impressive about it. There's nothing of substance that comes from it. A sticky keyboard doesn't count. There's the famous quote from Bill Clinton, "it depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is" to wit it took me less than 30 seconds to pull up Meriam-Webster online and find 8 different definitions for is. Imagine the combinatorics if we did this for every word in a sentence.

Yeah. Saying it's socially stunted is putting it mildly. The standard for relatively honest (good faith) and intelligent (meeting minimum standards as having something to add) discourse should be that the listener correctly identifies the intended definitions of the speaker. And here I'm complaining about people not even meeting a far, far lower standard of confining themselves to definitions that are actually make sense given the topic.


RPGPundit

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #130 on: September 24, 2022, 12:28:21 AM »
Leftists will keep going until Wizards makes "faceless goo-people" the only playable race.
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jeff37923

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #131 on: September 24, 2022, 05:59:54 AM »
Leftists will keep going until Wizards makes "faceless goo-people" the only playable race.

Like NPCs?

"I do not want to create a story, I want to create a stage. The player characters will perform on that stage and interact with the setting. When the players talk to their friends about what their characters did, then there will be a story."

Chris24601

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #132 on: September 24, 2022, 08:42:27 AM »
Re Barbarians:

Counterpoint, Barbarian isn't a class it's a background, you could be a barbaric Thief, Fighter, Druid, etc.

Types of cultural background:

Savage (Stone Age)
Barbarian (Bronze/Steel Age, think the Celts, Vikings, etc before the Romans)
Nomadic (Steppes people, good riders, have steel are civilized up to a point, tribal)
Civilized (Romans up to the middle Ages, nation state)
Decadent (past civilized, too corrupt, given to vices, think the Stygians & Hyperboreans)

ALL cultures produce the 4 basic classes: Priest, MU, Fighter, Rogue. In different flavors, from Cleric, Druid, Shaman, etc...
That is, in fact, pretty close to how my system does it.

Barbarian is a background, Fighter is a class, and Berserker is one of the fighting styles a fighter can know.

The other backgrounds are; arcanist, aristocrat, artisan, commoner, entertainer, military, outlaw, religious and traveler. These provide all the non-combat abilities including skills and languages for the character.

The other classes are mastermind, mechanist, mystic, theurge and wizard (with NPC-only classes for diabolist and necromancer). These provide only the combat abilities for the character. The mastermind is basically a non-magical party buffer (contributes to the combat side of things by creating or pointing out openings for allies to exploit while not necessarily being able to fight well themselves), the rest each employ one of the paths of magic in the setting (magitech, primal, astral, arcane, abyssal and shadow respectively).

Mix and match with background to best fit your concept. Depending on your conception of them a Paladin might be a religious fighter or an aristocrat or military theurge. The former is more the early D&D variety who is mainly a fighter with clerical support magic, the latter is closer to more modern takes where their background is a warrior but their primary combat focus comes from smiting opponents with divine wrath.

But this also means you can have barbarians who are masterminds (scouts/guides), mystics (shaman), theurges (druids), wizards (rune casters), fighters (berserkers or rangers) or even mechanists (master smiths were often reputed to know magic secrets they imbued into their weapons or armor)… all from a single background.

Chris24601

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #133 on: September 24, 2022, 09:10:35 AM »
Barbarian really just meant “those who are not of our ‘superior’ society and culture.” It’s purely an exonym used to describe other groups. If you were not Greek (or later Roman), the you were a barbarian.

So if you're playing a Barbarian in D&D, does that mean you spontaneously lose your class when you're among your own people? Or is it that PCs are just barred from the class entirely, since Barbarians are always those other people?

Or is it simply the case that you chose to work off of a definition that makes absolutely no sense in the context of talking about a D&D class?
Or, I’m saying Barbarian is a silly name for a class unless all the classes are so broad as to be meaningless… i.e. “I’m playing the Greek class.”

I wholy agree with those who say the class should be called a Berserker given it’s central feature is building themselves into a frenzy before attacking their opponents.

And a huge part of why is because arguably the most famous fantasy barbarian, Conan, shares NOTHING in common with what WotC-era D&D has called the Barbarian. Conan is, if anything, a multiclass fighter/rogue, in D&D terms. His culture is considered to be barbarian.

As I outlined above, Barbarian makes far more sense as a background which filters how the basic classes are perceived. What you say must be called a Barbarian I’d call a Barbarian Fighter. A ranger might also be Barbarian Rogue, a druid a Barbarian Wizard, and a shaman a Barbarian Cleric.

There’s another thread about whether their are too many classes. I tend to say ‘yes’ largely in the sense that if you want more defined mechanics then the system needs another layer to it. One of the main reasons for why “fighters can’t have nice things” in later editions of D&D is that too much what formerly made up the fighter’s toolkit/conceptual space got yanked off into various classes that could be best summed up as “culturally specific fighters.”

So by the end of 3e there were the “barbarian”, the knight, the ranger, the samurai, the marshal, the paladin, and probably more I’m forgetting that all really belonged under the heading of fighter who because it was again a broad archetype could actually have things like a wide range of skills and various special abilities based on the broad areas of competence that professional warriors were generally expected to have (instead of not being able to know how to even do more than two of climb, jump, swim or ride a horse because all the cool skills “belonged” to classes split off from the fighter).

No, Barbarian as a class is not only a bad name for a class centered around going berserk, it is also at the start of WotC D&D’s greatest failures as a system.

VisionStorm

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #134 on: September 24, 2022, 10:03:34 AM »
Barbarian really just meant “those who are not of our ‘superior’ society and culture.” It’s purely an exonym used to describe other groups. If you were not Greek (or later Roman), the you were a barbarian.

So if you're playing a Barbarian in D&D, does that mean you spontaneously lose your class when you're among your own people? Or is it that PCs are just barred from the class entirely, since Barbarians are always those other people?

Or is it simply the case that you chose to work off of a definition that makes absolutely no sense in the context of talking about a D&D class?

Your argument is specious.

No. Definitions are not arguments, specious or otherwise.

Quote
Even synonyms have unshared shades of meaning.  You can't just assume that everything that applies to one word also applies to another.

Who says I did? You're assuming I've assumed things. I considered the fact, for instance, that one of the things Barbarians refer to is a native of Barbary or Barbary Pirates. But that doesn't exactly square with the skills and abilities for the class. They've got skills for wilderness survival (just called survival) and a couple of related skills to that. But not a profession/sailing skill or knowledge/navigation. So I have to reject that as a definition as it has no place in this context. And a lot of others went out the window, too. The one I'm using is reasonable and consistent. And it's actually on topic.

Quote
Also, just glanced at a dictionary,

Well, maybe have enough basic respect to do a little more research than that next time. And be a little more thoughtful in ensuring what findings you present actually fit the context and address the issue at hand.

Quote
there was no mention of "inhabiting their native land."  Easy counterpoint:  the vikings in North America for a short while were both savage barbarians, but certainly were not indigenous.

For a short while doesn't count for anything. A few hours ago I walked to the store. I mean, I came back. But are you going to say that during the 10 minutes I shopped that my home was no longer my home? I've got friends who are Portuguese immigrants who have by this point lived 90% of their lives here. Some of them are even American citizens. And their big plan when they retire is to go back to Portugal where the cost of living is lower and Social Security is not taxable for 5 years. Are they not Portuguese having lived the majority of their lives in America? Your easy counterpoint is complete nonsense and a weak attempt at playing word games.

More importantly as it pertains to anything relevant here, does an indigenous person suddenly lose their skills or abilities when they cross a border or sea? Do they lose their culture, religion, or language? Does their ancestry change? Are there any changes at all to their characteristics? No? Then insofar that this is a discussion about a D&D class, you're entirely off-topic.


Unless it was, you know, short for classification. Armor classification. Troop classification. Weapon classification. The types of things one might find in a war game.

My first thought exactly. My second thought, though, was to remember when I was a kid, that the word "class" made me think of like a class in school. Not social class. I could imagine taking a class learning how to fight. Or how to thieve. Or how to use magic. My cousin attended catechism every Sunday, so there could definitely be a cleric class.

And then my third thought was, while D&D definitely does have some notes on social class, Gary focused more on it on his later fantasy RPGs. And in those, Vocations in Dangerous Journeys, Orders in Lejendary Adventure, those class-like structures were also closely tied with social class. Once you realize that this is a thing Gary did consistently everywhere else, you have to wonder if it was also intended this way in D&D and that it was just one of those things that didn't survive the cutting room floor.

I think there's something to it. That Gary chose class to mean, yes, classification, obviously, but that these classes were also classes you could have in school (hence training requirements to level up) and also tied into social class (hence name level, the ability to attract followers, and in the 1E PHB, some of the classes even had notes as to taxes they were entitled to collect, but not all classes, because some classes were classier than others). Which also meant those outside of the dominant social structure (demi-humans) might experience limits in the level to which they can rise due to, if nothing else, "glass ceilings."

Class was the perfect term and no game designer standing on the shoulder of giants is going to improve on the term, even though they might frequently believe they have.

Quote
Here is the problem. Words often have multiple meanings. Calling a fighter a class is just fine. Everyone knows what it means.

Playing the definition game with the socially stunted is a waste of time.

Yeah. In 2022, any wanker can google search a cherry picked definition of a word in 30 seconds while still jerking off with their other hand. There's nothing impressive about it. There's nothing of substance that comes from it. A sticky keyboard doesn't count. There's the famous quote from Bill Clinton, "it depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is" to wit it took me less than 30 seconds to pull up Meriam-Webster online and find 8 different definitions for is. Imagine the combinatorics if we did this for every word in a sentence.

Yeah. Saying it's socially stunted is putting it mildly. The standard for relatively honest (good faith) and intelligent (meeting minimum standards as having something to add) discourse should be that the listener correctly identifies the intended definitions of the speaker. And here I'm complaining about people not even meeting a far, far lower standard of confining themselves to definitions that are actually make sense given the topic.

Are you capable of giving direct responses to people's comments without dripping them with undue condescension and incorrectly presuming your superior grasp of any given subject? Or tearing up every post they make into tiny out of context snippets in order to provide lenthy "gotcha' commentary and silly, irrelevant examples* that don't really provide an adequate counterpoint to what they're saying?

Words do have a variety of possible meanings, and this isn't a product of our current age, but of the way language fundamentally works and has been the case throughout all of human history. That's why the first step in advancing an argument or laying out your position about a subject is supposed to be to define your terms. And this was established since the Classical Age, cuz the Ancient Greeks recognized that.

There has never been an age were words had clear, absolute meanings that always applied in every circumstance they're used. And insisting on a specific, narrow meaning or interpretation of a word absolutely is an argument. It might be a moronic, poorly articulated argument that presumes that your interpretation is absolute and infallible (when it isn't) and therefore beyond all contention, and simply a declaration of self-evident truth. But it's still an argument, and your inability to recognize that does not make it not an argument. It just means that you're speaking down to people when you don't know WTF you're talking about.

*who cares if you walked into a store and WTF does the word "Barbarian", which is of Greek origin as Chris correctly referenced, have to do with the Barbary Pirates, who's name comes from ethnic Berbers?