Rufus Laggren wrote: On reading through this thread, it appears that two words are being used, w/out turn signals sorta speak, for 5 different concepts and situations. Maybe that should be one word.
r ranson wrote: In English, the action is related to the person. "He spilt the milk". Whereas in other languages, it's more common to say "the milk spilt" or "the milk spilt itself"
I think you are quite right, the blame thing is part of the culture. It is kind of like in present day China (the last place where English is unlikely to become dominant any time soon) where you can be rewarded for turning someone else in, or accusing someone. That's the extreme version of it, but it exists in our culture too. I'm sure that that has been present in other cultures on the planet at other times... East Germany comes to mind in relatively recent years... Not English, but English has a Germanic base!-ha, maybe it's a german thing... the Nazi's were German, Right? But then Stalinist Russia comes to mind. It is generally a dictator's thing... methinks. A warlord thing. A thing based, as mentioned, on conquest, on dominance. By taking this way of communicating, we gain some reward, however sick and twisted it is, by putting the blame on someone else, or something else, but not accepting the blame or responisibility ourselves, by getting the eyes off of us. I think there is something deeply inherent in this culture that brings that out of us, and we hold onto this part of ourselves as somehow important, however small and on many levels. By placing blame, we make someone own it, but not us. It's a cruel world in this way, and we do need to consider it, and we do need to act better based on better thinking, deeper thinking, so that this can be removed in any form that seems like it's going to be harmful in our interpersonal relationship and to us as a society.
We seem to be conditioned as a society to 1) feel that everything bad must be blamed on a person and 2) get scared that that blame will fall on us so we need to be aggressive before this happens in hopes this will deflect the blame.