Tag Archives: subjectivity

Adjectives and Context

It's always interesting to read about an event at which you were present and to really not agree with how the event is described.  This is not to say that the person writing about the event is wrong, or that I'm wrong, rather it highlights the subjectivity inherent to reporting. 

A case in point is a meeting I attended yesterday about which a reporter wrote "Contending for speaking time in a room full of raise (sic) voices…" To me that sentence implies that people were shouting, but I can tell you that from my point of view the participants of the meeting were speaking adamantly, but nobody was shouting.  It might seem like I'm nitpicking, but I think the context is important.  Meeting participants were disagreeing with each other and as I said I thought they were defending their positions stridently, but if what they were doing was raising their voices then my family shouts at each other incessantly.

Again, I want to emphasize that I don't think the reporter is wrong on this point, nor am I.  Rather I'm saying that it's interesting to see how two people can see the exact same thing and come away with differing interpretations.  Something to keep in mind when you read your daily paper, favorite blogs and other nefarious resources.

Oops there I went and dropped an adjective-bomb.