- Jul 21, 2017
- Reaction score
Every question has been answered... So many times.... So so many times...I know this thread is a month old, but since it just got rezzed and I read the whole thing, I feel like I can maybe try to add something useful.
Regarding "group buy / not a group buy" - Terminological debates are among the most infuriating and pointless discussions one can have. The different sides in such a debate have no disagreements in substance, and there are no matters of fact that are in dispute - the only thing in contention is what to call something. In this case, both sides agree that large purchases of chips and various chip-related items by groups of people most often take place in public here on PCF in a particular forum and are open to everyone; and both sides agree that the AS purchases, etc, took place in private and were not open to everyone.
Arguing over whether or not to call both of these things by the same name is dumb. There are a lot of things that are called by both the same name and different names; people generally understand that language is flexible and are able to distinguish things by context. "New York's top agricultural product is milk" vs "The New York skyline is stunning" - nobody has any difficulty recognizing that one of those sentences is about the state and the other is about the city. And if by chance anyone ever was confused, it's easy enough to set them straight: "Oh, no, I meant New York City".
In any other context besides this forum, anyone would recognize the AS purchases, etc, as a group buy. A group of people pooled their resources and efforts in order to purchase something and thereby meet minimum purchase requirements, or take advantage of quantity discounts, or share overhead costs, and so forth. This happens all the time for any kind of hobby; the concept is obvious, ubiquitous, and uncontroversial.
In the context of PCF, where group buys are a) frequently organized, and b) typically organized according to specific guidelines that the site administrator has mandated, it's reasonable to expect the term "group buy" to take on additional meaning through semantic overloading, and to act as a shorthand expression for "a group buy organized through the site and conducted according to the site's rules". Linguistically, this is called a metonym and it's a common feature of everyday English usage, even if it's not explicitly recognized as such by most English speakers.
So were the AS purchases, etc, "group buys"? Yes, and no. Reasonable conversants should be able to recognize the context in which other parties are trying to use the term, and should be both tolerant and respectful of the intended communication rather than being strict and pedantic over terminology - especially since pedantry cannot succeed, as both uses are correct, no matter how much either party might wish that theirs was the only true, correct usage.
If, on the other hand, the terminological dispute is actually serving as a proxy for, not a factual dispute, but a political or moral dispute - perhaps along the lines of "the boat chip group buy was bad" / "the boat chip group buy was good" - then it would still be best for the parties to engage in the substantive underlying argument ("it was bad / it was good") rather than clouding the issue over terminology ("it was a group buy / it wasn't a group buy"). If you're going to air dirty laundry, at least air the correct dirty socks instead of fighting over an old t-shirt that nobody really cares about.
Also, in all of these pages so far, I'm not sure that @mnebesny ever got his questions answered:
I hope he does get his questions answered. I'm new too, and wouldn't mind seeing the answers either.