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August 22, 2007


How does "deconstruct" compare to "unpack," which is currently becoming an increasingly annoying buzzword where "let me explain" would be appropriate.

Ubiquity has always annoyed me and it does to this day. I think this is because of a kind of discouragement of linguistic trailblazing it carries with it that seems rooted in just plain language laziness. It is easier to simply fall into the same rut everyone else is in than it is to muster the effort to pull yourself out of that ditch and dare to express yourself uniquely. The real challenge to that is to do it both uniquely and effectively without coming across as pompous.

Well, now, at least, we can understand what was meant when this word was used in the past (in the appropriate context). I agree with Louis that being so precise in conversation can seem pompous, but certainly there is still some utility in such knowledge.

I would suggest the following for an excellent analysis of "deconstruction": http://jamesfaulconer.byu.edu/deconstr.htm

I'm not certain I agree with Steve's analysis. It is not a question of 'constructing meaning,' but of seeing the contextuality of meaning. Deconstruction was never meant to be a means or method of interpreting, but an attitude that is used in order to discover the limits of meaning in order to open the space for...something. 'Gaining meaning' is not the point, but opening up the space for meaning by demonstrating its contextuality ("there is nothing outside the text").

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