Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Would someone please explain the current infatuation with the word "narrative"?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rockford, IL
    Posts
    8,305

    Default Would someone please explain the current infatuation with the word "narrative"?

    "Story" has always been fine with me. Is it letter count? Do nine letters make one twice as smart as five? Heck, "yarn" and "tale" have only four!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Bradford, VT
    Posts
    5,145

    Default Re: Would someone please explain the current infatuation with the word "narrative"?

    And "lie" has only three

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    34,077

    Default Re: Would someone please explain the current infatuation with the word "narrative"?

    OK, but a story is fiction more often than not, a narrative, less so.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Everett, WA
    Posts
    24,779

    Default Re: Would someone please explain the current infatuation with the word "narrative"?

    Three syllables, baby. Makes one sound erudite.
    Gerard>
    Everett, WA

    RESIST. FIGHT THE POWER.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Midcoast Maine
    Posts
    156

    Default Re: Would someone please explain the current infatuation with the word "narrative"?

    Something to do with a narrative implying (more closely) a narrator? A focus on somebody who is creating and spinning the yarn seems a propos for these interesting times.

    Best,
    Chris
    "Where we would wish to reform we must not reproach." -Thomas Paine

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    20,985

    Default Re: Would someone please explain the current infatuation with the word "narrative"?

    Quote Originally Posted by CPF View Post
    Something to do with a narrative implying (more closely) a narrator? A focus on somebody who is creating and spinning the yarn seems a propos for these interesting times.

    Best,
    Chris
    Right.

    A 'narrative' implies that we've all gotten together and decided what the story is, and we're sticking to it.

    Not necessarily a bad thing, BTW.
    Rattling the teacups.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Duncan, Vancouver Island
    Posts
    26,448

    Default Re: Would someone please explain the current infatuation with the word "narrative"?

    Fairy tale has the same number of syllables as narrative and it's two words instead of one. It could be used to describe any story, er, I mean narrative, coming from the White House or Trump's Twitter account.
    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    40,880

    Default Re: Would someone please explain the current infatuation with the word "narrative"?

    I like words. I particularly like how different words both denote and connote meanings. Careful choice allows for a level of precision and nuance that approaches poetry. I strive for, and very much appreciate, that level of rigor - which I believe lends exactitude to communications.

    And so I look at the two words as very similar, but somewhat different.

    stoĚry, noun

    • 1. an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment: "an adventure story" synonyms: tale, narrative, account, anecdote, yarn, ... more
    • 2. an account of past events in someone's life or in the evolution of something: "the story of modern farming"


    narrative, noun

    1. a story or account of events, experiences, or the like, whether true or fictitious.

    2. a book, literary work, etc., containing such a story.

    3. the art, technique, or process of narrating, or of telling a story: Somerset Maugham was a master of narrative.

    4. a story that connects and explains a carefully selected set of supposedly true events, experiences, or the like, intended to support a particular viewpoint or thesis: to rewrite the prevailing narrative about masculinity; the narrative that our public schools are failing.


    I would use story as a more 'informal' word. It is a description of events that might be carefully honed and considered, but is just as likely to be an ad hoc telling of a tale. I would use narrative as the descriptor when it is more likely that the story has been refined, worked on, and perhaps manipulated to suit a purpose.

    In the context of politics, either can fall on the spectrum from stark truth to outrageous total fabrication. But I would be more likely to use story when I meant something that could be true... or could be harmlessly, entertainingly, false. Less attempt to manipulate. I tend to use narrative when I mean a story deliberately concocted to suit a propaganda purpose. Certainly... either could be used for either circumstance - without blame or criticism - but with some slight loss of meaning.

    And yes... words and phrases DO cycle in and out of popularity. Sometimes annoyingly so. How often do you hear the words, bogart, bite me, or yuppie - very popular in the 80's - these days?
    Last edited by David G; 05-19-2017 at 09:44 AM.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    41,346

    Default Re: Would someone please explain the current infatuation with the word "narrative"?

    To me narrative implies a part of a story. Something constructed to guide the reader to a particular place or direction.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Kitty Hawk, NC
    Posts
    5,580

    Default Re: Would someone please explain the current infatuation with the word "narrative"?

    narrative: a story that connects and explains a carefully selected set of supposedly true events, experiences, or the like, intended to support a particular viewpoint or thesis.

    I think current usage stresses support for a particular viewpoint.
    Life is complex.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Quogue,NY
    Posts
    13,037

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Little Time View Post
    narrative: a story that connects and explains a carefully selected set of supposedly true events, experiences, or the like, intended to support a particular viewpoint or thesis.

    I think current usage stresses support for a particular viewpoint.


    Messaging is more scripted now than ever. We no longer get a pols, business's, celebrity's point of view, we get chunks of info intended to move their message along and concretize it in the public consciousness.

    Kevin


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
    Posts
    17,116

    Default Re: Would someone please explain the current infatuation with the word "narrative"?

    supĚposĚedĚly
    səˈpōzədlē/
    adverb

    • according to what is generally assumed or believed (often used to indicate that the speaker doubts the truth of the statement).
      "the ads are aimed at women, supposedly because they do the shopping"





  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Ballard
    Posts
    7,470

    Default Re: Would someone please explain the current infatuation with the word "narrative"?

    People who use product in their hair love a fine narrative.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Fredericton, New Brunswick
    Posts
    31,055

    Default Re: Would someone please explain the current infatuation with the word "narrative"?

    Would you like the story of how "narrative" came to be a word of fascination and elite signaling, or the narrative about how "story" missed its opportunity?
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Entry Level
    Posts
    14,664

    Default Re: Would someone please explain the current infatuation with the word "narrative"?

    Even dumber is the use of "optics" to mean "appearance".

    Optics is the study of the behavior of light, or equipment for observing it.

    "Trump pulled his thumb out because the optics were bad."
    He's a Mexican. -- Donald Trump.
    America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama. -- Governor Chris Christie (R) New Jersey
    It wasn't racism, it was an attack on Christianity. -- Fox News
    This week, it is Robert E. Lee and this week, Stonewall Jackson. Is it George Washington next? You have to ask yourself, where does it stop?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •