Book reviews and grammar lessons. Words mean a lot.
A declarative is an expression of truth. Well, truth in the context that any statement is true unto itself.
An interrogative is what Socrates used as a teaching method, or what GabbyD likes to render. It is a question.
In English Grammar, "declaratives" and "interrogatives" are parts of the "indicative mood".
Now I tell you what. I had 12 years of English in school, compiled 12 college credits in English, endured two-years of Latin and one of German, but I have no idea what a grammatical "mood" is. I know a crabby mood is what my wife gets into before her period. And an exasperated mood is what I get into when driving downtown amidst the chaos that is Filipino road decorum. But a grammatical mood is much like math theory or the philosophy of Hume. It has all the tangibility of a ghost. And it is nine parts as creepy.
But I like declaratives myself. For any assertion is a truth for being an assertion.
"More boys like peanut butter than girls."
That statement is a truth, for it has meaning. Now, it may have nothing to do with facts or reality, for I have no idea what gender bias may exist in a spoonful of peanut butter. Even if the declarative is made up, a lie, it can influence others. So there is a certain truth, a power to influence, in a lie.
Wrap your brain around that, bubba.
Take the declarative assertion "JoeAm is biased against women bloggers". Now again, that statement is a truth, for the person making it (a woman, perhaps) may believe it is so. Or she may just be interested in pushing buttons, who knows. The assertion may also have nothing to do with reality, but it fulfills an objective. Defend oneself at the expense of JoeAm, "for he had the audacity to bring his antagonistic viewpoint and literary nonsense to my blog".
Being JoeAm, I may not like the unseemly declarative, but it has been said, so it is too late to get rid of the peculiar kind of truth it represents. Oh, I could offer up an interrogative response, like "are you nuts, or what?" Or respond with a like-minded declarative, such as "you are an insecure whiner playing the victim card".
But then you end up with a wicked case of bouncing declaratives, each with its own manipulative truth, on a mission to destroy.
When blog commenters lose track of the issue and get personal, you have dung on a blog.
And as you read blog posts and comment threads on Anti-Pinoy or Get Real Post, you find lots of declaratives and a fine smattering of dungballs. The contributors seek to expostulate their wily truths, whether attached to reality or not. They commend like thinkers and seek to destroy opposite thinkers, sometimes with argument, sometimes with dungballs.
What you don't see much of is the open mind. Or the inquiring mind. Or the learning mind.
Everyone has "THE ANSWER" and is not afraid to jam it down other people's throats. Without the slightest interest in understanding how someone else could arrive at a different view.
This undiplomatic approach is from intelligent people, the "best of the best of the best"*. [* From "Men in Black", a movie about alien life forms other than bloggers.]
Never in the history of mankind have so many allegedly smart people pretended to know so much about all subjects, including those live ones they have never met. And never have so many great minds rejected ideas from across the river just because they are from across the river. It is Never Never Land, it is Alice in Wonderland. It is Apocalypse Now. It is surreal. It makes me want to puke.
Humility is found in respect for another person's different place on earth, for his different set of experiences, for his different way of looking at things. It is to be found in the knowledge that "winning", in its most elegant sense, does not mean conquest, but understanding.
There is precious little humility in the Philippines, and the AP and GRP blog sites, which assert their declarative truths that Filipinos are vacuous and inadequate, incompetent, vengeful and wrong-headed . . . represent a living example. They thrive on being closed minded . . . like old-school Filipinos. They are rapturously Ego-bound, dismissing alternative views like water off a duck's behind. They try to intimidate others by name-calling and issuing declarative truths that depart from reality. They are slippery and sly. They whine to win.
They excel at being what they criticize.
They are unremittingly declarative, defining their own truths. Sentence closed with a period.
A wee little scratch of ink representing the gross insignificance of what remains. A collective of like-minded self-huggers.
Next up, boys and gerbils, "The Subjunctive Tense", or the strange instance in which a singular noun demands a plural verb. Subtitled "English, the Language Designed by an Insane Lingual Architect".