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    Allen Farber's Avatar
    Allen Farber Posts: 190, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Jan 27, 2018, 08:26 PM
    Meaning of "nuanced"?
    Please help. Can someone help me understand the definition of "nuanced"? It says "to give subtle differences to" yet it makes no sense when plugged into the sentence "the effect of the music is nuanced by the social situation of the listener" I don't understand how you can give something subtle differences. Someone please explain
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 53,886, Reputation: 10852
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    #2

    Jan 27, 2018, 09:26 PM
    If you have good knowledge on a subject you know the ins and outs of a subject then it could be said you know the nuances of that subject or topic.

    It's like knowing how to dribble a basket ball without looking. You learn by practice right? To understand nuances you gain knowledge of a topic by STUDYING that topic. Think of it as learning added knowledge beyond what you know. Nuance requires you to pay attention to small easily missed details.

    You can't understand the nuances of anything without adding to your knowledge on the subject. You cannot understand the subtle differences unless you explore and experiment (LEARN) the TOPIC, or subject. For example practice dribbling a basket ball and you learn the subtle difference between just dribbling, and knowing how to dribble without looking at the ball.

    Did that help?
    Allen Farber's Avatar
    Allen Farber Posts: 190, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Jan 28, 2018, 04:10 AM
    How did nuanced go from "give subtle differences to" to "knowing the ins and outs / details" and how does it apply to the sentence? How can the social situation of somebody nuance / give a subtle difference to the effect of the music? It makes the effect of the music subtly different from what exactly?

    Also, while I'm at it I might as well ask this...

    nuanced when used as an adjective and not a verb means "characterized by subtle shades of meaning or expression" and it's used in the context of "nuanced argument" and "nuanced political beliefs". So an argument that has many subtle shades of meaning? I don't understand how something can have more than one intended meaning at a time. For example, let's say that the political spectrum isn't just democrat and republican and it's more nuanced (has many subtle shades) and, just for simplicity sake, has 5 shades: far right, moderate right, centrist, moderate left, and far left. So if someone's political belief is nuanced (has many subtle shades of meaning or expression) then does that mean they are all five?

    I feel like if I understand the word in the contexts I've provided, it may help my understanding
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #4

    Jan 28, 2018, 06:50 AM
    I know little about music, but have many musician friends, even some for whom it's their career. They are far more aware of all the nuances (here used as a noun) than I am. That's easier than the sentence you quoted, about the social situation of the listener. Not sure what that means either. Hearing a lousy boombox while walking down the street, vs sitting in a recliner in a room with good acoustics, listening to the music live, or through the best headphones and the best electronics? I don't know. Maybe they mean lifelong learning about music? It's an awkward expression for this context.

    See, again, you are finding questions where most of us don't. Our minds fill in the blanks when the finer points of the 'nuances' (LOL) of the statements aren't totally clear. That allows us to move on to the next sentence.

    Somewhere in here I see a career for you, as a book critic or something!

    As for the political spectrum, no it doesn't mean someone is all 5. I consider myself to be 'selectively' in some of those 5, as occasion is right for my beliefs. Maybe I could say I have a more 'nuanced' view of politics than many people I know, who expect me to be always left or right. But I would never say it that way, because it makes me sound haughty.
    What you did there is a type of logical fallacy - you defined a nuanced term, the political spectrum, and then thought that any one person with nuanced politics is on the whole spectrum. Nuances can be few or many. And you are the one who defined the nuanced term, so you have to define who fits the term. I suppose you could say that anyone who calls himself nuanced has to be all 5, but that's a weak argument in my book.

    [Just thought of something very important! Just because you see something in print doesn't mean it's right, or grammatically correct, or that the author's intentions got expressed the way he or she wanted! If you can really appreciate that, you might be able to gloss over more of these little questions. The author is just you and I, who might be better at writing than you or I (or not), but who still doesn't always get it right or the way they hoped.]
    Allen Farber's Avatar
    Allen Farber Posts: 190, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Jan 28, 2018, 07:26 AM
    I didn't mean to make up my own definition, I was just going by dictionary definition. I may have just misinterpreted, hence the fallacy. But if I may ask, what do you think (or know) "give nuances to" means? Does it mean to make something slightly different than it was before? Or does it mean to split something into multiple shades (i.e. the political spectrum)? Or something completely different?
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #6

    Jan 28, 2018, 07:34 AM
    I meant that you made up your own definition of a political spectrum. Nothing wrong with that.
    The fallacy was assuming that the definition worked in reverse, that an individual had to be full spectrum in order to be nuanced.
    YOU wrote the nuanced definition, but forgot to define what someone with nuanced beliefs is. All 5? 4, 3, 2? See what I mean?

    'Give nuances to' means a bit of both of you said, but mostly the second. The first may or may not be true. Although you could argue that 'multiple shades' does indeed make it 'slightly different.'
    LOL! We could argue circles around each other!
    I think you have found your element.
    Now I have to go do some chores....or maybe not.... LOL.... you could do this all day, couldn't you?

    You are not meant for accounting. You are meant for nuanced argument. Get your brain really tested with the latest imaging techniques while your mind is busy reading or watching or listening or solving.

    THEN write an autobiography!
    Allen Farber's Avatar
    Allen Farber Posts: 190, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Jan 28, 2018, 08:33 AM
    Haha. I'll definitely keep it in mind. But funny you mentioned accounting, I'm surprisingly pulling through. But back to the nuanced thing, I understand that there are way more than just 5 political positions, I just said 5 for simplicity sake. And I don't get what you mean by saying I thought the definition worked in reverse. The definition of nuanced is "characterized by subtle shades of meaning or expression" so logically, a nuanced political belief is a belief with more than one shade or political position. And I don't get how one thing can be more than one shade at a time. That's where my confusion lies. I've been told that if something is nuanced, it has "many subtle shades of meaning" and I just don't get how one thing can have a bunch of different meanings. I understand that among a bunch of people, no two are alike and there will be subtle nuances or differences between them. But when it comes to one person, I'd think their beliefs are aligned with one shade. I do believe I'm getting to the root of my question here
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #8

    Jan 28, 2018, 08:51 AM
    But you wrote a definition (even though just as an example of using the concept of nuanced) and then proceeded to ask US a very specific question about that definition! ''So if someone's political belief is nuanced... then does that mean they are all five?'' Do you see what you did there? You are the only one who can answer it because you are the one who wrote it. The answer isn't about the meaning of the vague word nuanced. It has everything to do with how YOU defined the situation. All five or less than 5? Because you didn't STIPULATE what makes up nuanced views of an INDIVIDUAL, you can't ask any questions about that INDIVIDUAL until you define how he fits into the spectrum. Again - all 5, or are 4, 3, 2 OK? YOU wrote it, you decide.

    This all fits in with your dogged determination to force all words, phrases, and concepts to be exact. Nuanced doesn't boil down to numbers.
    Allen Farber's Avatar
    Allen Farber Posts: 190, Reputation: 1
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    #9

    Jan 28, 2018, 10:04 AM
    I'm sorry but I don't understand what you're trying to say. I didn't write that definition. It's what comes up when you look up "nuanced" on Google. And I've heard many people say "nuanced belief" or "nuanced opinion" and I'm just trying to figure out what that means. And I have no idea if a person who is somehow far left and far right at the same time is nuanced. That's what I'm asking. I guess I should just drop the examples and just straight up ask how can something have more than one shade of meaning at a time
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 53,886, Reputation: 10852
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    #10

    Jan 28, 2018, 10:45 AM
    Nuance is just a VARIATION. Like the colors red but if you add to it's still red. It's still a color. Just different. Like a human who speaks English, but with an accent. Its a small but SUBTLE difference. I guess you can conclude that any topic or subject thing can have different variations and small changes can make it different in many ways.

    If you understood nuance and subtle, your political analogy would be the basics ones with many variations and combinations that you could easily accept. In math such things are called sets, and subsets of those sets. Or a basic formula with many unknowns to be identified and solved for.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #11

    Jan 28, 2018, 10:54 AM
    You wrote this:
    ''For example, let's say that the political spectrum isn't just democrat and republican and it's more nuanced (has many subtle shades) and, just for simplicity sake, has 5 shades: far right, moderate right, centrist, moderate left, and far left.''

    It is a definition. It is a definition of a nuanced political spectrum. YOU WROTE A DEFINITION of a political spectrum that is an example of something nuanced.

    THEN you tried to get US to tell you where one person fits in this definition that YOU wrote. ''So if someone's political belief is nuanced (has many subtle shades of meaning or expression) then does that mean they are all five?'' You wanted US to tell you how to apply 'nuanced' to YOUR definition, and we CAN'T!

    Please THINK about this, because it's vital to how your mind works. We can't tell you the answer to your question. 'Nuanced' isn't something you can pin down in a scenario (your political spectrum) that has very specific distinctions, mainly 5 spots on the spectrum. Sure, changing the spectrum from 2 parties to 5 more loosely defined sections makes it 'nuanced,' but it doesn't define how many of those sections someone has who has 'nuanced' political views within that spectrum!!

    If you still don't get it, then maybe it's a good chapter for your autobiography, because you should have comprehended it by now.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 53,886, Reputation: 10852
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    #12

    Jan 28, 2018, 11:07 AM
    You have to love the way Allen complicates things by adding stuff.
    Allen Farber's Avatar
    Allen Farber Posts: 190, Reputation: 1
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    #13

    Jan 28, 2018, 11:14 AM
    All right, forget about the 5 position spectrum. I'll just use real life example. There's a spectrum with an infinite amount of beliefs and opinions and there's no possible way for someone's beliefs to overlap, because any possible combination of beliefs is its own shade on this spectrum. This is how it is in real life and I haven't made it up, so how would a person have a belief that's characterized by many shades and be labeled as someone with a nuanced opinion in this situation?
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #14

    Jan 28, 2018, 11:29 AM
    The 5 position spectrum was FINE! What wasn't fine was asking if an individual had to be in all 5 to be nuanced!

    Actually your new question shows why you don't get that. You don't seem capable or willing to see that nuanced, nuanced opinion, nuanced anything, is ITSELF a loosely defined concept. NUANCED is vague. The 5 part spectrum is SPECIFIC. Whether you have 5 parts of a spectrum or infinite, how nuanced someone's opinion is is UP TO THE PERSON WHO SET UP THE SCENARIO, IN THIS CASE, THE SPECTRUM.

    Of course you can have as many beliefs and opinions as you want. If someone has, say 1 belief and 1 opinion, I will snort in derision at their lack of 'nuanced opinion.' But if Allen says it doesn't matter how few 'nuances' someone has, then I don't matter, because Allen's the boss of that SCENARIO!!!! That's the same as what I was saying about the 5 parts of the political spectrum!!!! Hey, some bozo thinks his opinion is nuanced being on only 2 parts, but there's no DEFINITION of what constitutes one person's nuanced opinion, so since Allen wrote the scenario, and he didn't define how many parts makes it nuanced, the bozo can be right with only 2!!

    [I'm starting to lose it so be gentle...]
    Allen Farber's Avatar
    Allen Farber Posts: 190, Reputation: 1
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    #15

    Jan 28, 2018, 12:21 PM
    At this point, I'll just straight up ask what makes a nuanced opinion nuanced?
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 53,886, Reputation: 10852
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    #16

    Jan 28, 2018, 01:21 PM
    A different point of view.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #17

    Jan 28, 2018, 01:59 PM
    It has shades of meaning. Right back to the definition.

    Take the topic of abortion. Many people say it's murder and that's the end of the argument. Others get into the costs to American society of almost a million unwanted babies a year. They ask if the baby who can't get super expensive care for a birth defect is being murdered too. They ask about the rights of the person carrying the embryo, when her rights begin and end, and does it matter what her burden is, financially and physically. They ask about adoption options, and about only white babies being wanted. And so on --- they have more nuanced arguments than the person who just says it's murder and refuses to even discuss it further.

    Notice that there is no 'definition' here of nuanced. Or how many different ways of looking at the topic are needed to make it nuanced.

    I may have confused you earlier when I said you defined the terms. You defined the scenario, the situation, NOT what nuanced meant, although if you are going to start asking questions about the people who have nuanced opinions, then you do have to define nuanced!
    Nuanced means various things. You just aren't going to pin it down, NOPE NOPE NOPE!
    Allen Farber's Avatar
    Allen Farber Posts: 190, Reputation: 1
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    #18

    Jan 28, 2018, 02:26 PM
    Please forgive me but I got lost when you went from "shades of meaning" to "going into detail and explaining the opinion" Maybe shades of meaning means something different than what I think it is and that's what's causing the confusion. I always thought shade of meaning meant a slight difference in meaning but once again, doesn't make sense in the context you've given
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #19

    Jan 28, 2018, 03:00 PM
    The one word that explains you to my mind, after all this back and forth, is concrete.
    You have the most concrete thinking I've ever experienced.
    TWO of us have been giving you TWO slightly different responses, but neither of us is wrong.
    'Shades of meaning' get explained when someone says 'going into detail' - so what? You might explain every nuance, you might not. You might get very detailed and specific, you might not. It can all be nuanced.
    If you look at sunbeams coming through the clouds, you might feel religious feelings of angels and God looking down, or you might think about water vapor droplets and the science of sunlight on the atmosphere.
    You can say that anything poetic, religious, scientific, or just emotional and wording is heavily nuanced.
    Even if you start arguing with someone about signs from God vs world wide weather patterns, your discussion can be nuanced.
    Shades of meaning = slight differences? Usually, but not necessarily.
    To borrow from your 'infinite spectrum,' shades on the spectrum would be every color there is!

    I am not going to give up on this one, gosh darn it, if I have to cover every nuance that ever existed.
    I'm not sure I'll be able to use the word again, though, for the rest of my life.
    LOLOLOLOLOL!
    Allen Farber's Avatar
    Allen Farber Posts: 190, Reputation: 1
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    #20

    Jan 28, 2018, 03:16 PM
    So nuance just means any opinion that's explained? Then what's the point of the definition? It's like it has nothing to do with subtle differences or shades of meaning at all. Also it kind of throws me off when you use the word "nuanced" when trying to explain it. Like I always have to question which way you mean it seeing as how everyone thinks it means something different

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