When there is uncertainty on what something is, reference points become more important. A common method is to make an ostenisive / demonstrative definition, which define something by pointing to an example of it (“This,” [said while pointing to a large grey animal], “is an Asian elephant.”)
If the examples given by pointing are well known, that gives the claim more weight. For an example, the color blue was at some point defined as “the color of the sky, at noon on a clear day”, or something like that. It works well, because it is an example everybody knows of and has a relationship to, and know that color as blue. Therefore, it serves better as a reference than a bucket of paint you stirred up in your basement, in the light of a candle, and has only showed to your drunk neighbor, and he agreed that it was indeed blue.
How does one translate this to juggling then? I thought the best was to list the prime examples we have, such as Rastelli, Gatto, Brunn etc, whose activities are already called juggling (by the people who are authorities in the field, and by a large chunk of the juggling community), just like the blue sky is called blue. However, the otter that no one heard of, does not give that weight, just like your bucket of paint. It is the best I could do, but I am open for suggestions.
Does this reasoning make sense?
We talk the way we do, because of the history of the world. Language was created to explain that world. If that world would be different, for sure we would talk differently. Language is based on the reality we live in, not on a fictional one.
Does that answer your question?
I have tried to look at the general language use of the experts and literature. I would not worry too much over one exception, but if one was found it would definitely be worth discussing. I’ve found the language use in the literature surprisingly unison. Please bring up exceptions if you find some, it would really be great!
That is great that you think so, we agree there. I am aware that it’s a while since he passed, but the understanding he had of juggling is what we inherited, and is what our understanding builds on. He met Cinquevalli and was friends with the Brunn’s. He dedicated his whole life to studying juggling, so he experienced juggling in a closer proximity than your average joe. I think that has value to an understanding. Would you agree?
It would be problematic to dispute the language of our literature and of the greatest reference points we have, such as Brunn, Rastelli, Cinquevalli, and I’d rather not create new problems. Knowledge of juggling and its development is already hard to come by, why make it harder?
Why not accept the words that we have, and instead create new ones. Technical terms, that we can make as specific as we want? I love that about a “qualify”. Since it was invented in the IJA numbers competition, there are specifics to what it is, that can not be argued. I think that is very useful.
I hope you understand that I agree with you, that the current language use of the word juggling is terribly blurry. But I am only trying to explain the use that I see, and creating some sense there, before moving on to something that is more useful. In my opinion the best way to move on is to create a specific, technical language with new terms. There are many pro’s to that approach:
- There is no struggle to “force” any belief or language change on anyone
- There is no need to re-write any literature, or say that someone was wrong
- It starts working immediately, and then has an easy to find explanation, such as a document
- It can be super specific
I truly think this is a much better approach, but if someone would think otherwise, I’d gladly hear their arguments.