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Hubby is currently tearing at his hair in another round of marking. I've disappeared to the PC to let him go to it. (Well that's my excuse). One of his students provided the quote of the night.

I don't think the paragraph says nothing. I think it says something not very well that is true, and includes some things that are not supported, not supportable, or false. Things in all three categories.

How old was the writer?
"Despite its lack of definition, globalisation, has quite a great

The word isn't defined (I think it is) or the limits of the word's applicability isn't defined (It's probably not well defined. Many notions aren't.) But it's not clear which he means.
impact on society., the world and people as a whole. Its ramifications

People as a whole is equivalent to society. Individual people might be what he meant, but he didn't say it.
are widespread, and many of them are caused by the improper use of the term.

He never gives examples of the improper use of the term.
In the 1990s, globalisation became associated with economics.

I think it has always been associated with economics. Weren't there other terms for the ability to travel farther and more easily, or for the ability to make phone calls or send tv signals all around the world. Again, how old is the student. He could have looked this up, but I don't think the possibility of an alternative has occurred to him.
There was a new globalisation that was driven by the capitalist economy.

In practice the systems of the countries involved may have been capitalist (even China), but I don't think it requires a capitalist economy anywhere to "drive" globalization. If communist countries could have produced enough to export, they would have and will. It doesn't matter if the government owns the means of production or if private parties do. What probably matters the most is industrialization (and the ability to produce more than be used locally), larger ships and cheaper transportation; and telegraph, telephones, television, satellites, and computerized data transmission, including audio and video.
Is capitalism required? Isn't Viet Nam still communist? I see clothes for sale in the States that are made in Viet Nam.

"Free trade" is not dependant on the economic system of the countries involved, but on tariff and treaty arrangements. I think the US should have a bigger than average tariff on imported steel, because steel is still a strategic defense material, and it's too late now for some industries, but I would support some tariffs on many other products. Perhaps we should have had a 25 or 35 year schedule of lowering tariffs that would have given time for people to work until retirement before their factories closed, while warning young people coming into the labour market that some industries would fade away.

But people wanted low prices right away, and politicians wanted to make them happy.
This as well as the fear of globalisation as inevitable and

What is "this"? New globalisation or the capitalist economny.

Why is the fear inevitable? Why is there fear at all?
without any benefits changed the public's view of the world and led to

There are enormous benefits of globalization.
There are also enormous detriments for many people, and he doesn't say what they are.
many people taking action to prevent its continuation. The ways in

I think that, strangely, the people demonstrating at WTO meetings etc. are not those who are hurt by globalisation, and maybe it's my lack of reading or the press's lack of reporting, but I haven't heard them making the point of who is hurt or what should be done instead. Either that or they've made points I discarded as stupid. Or, by using force at these demonstrations or for some other reason, what they thought would highlight their story has instead caused the replacement of their story with stories about the violence. If it bleeds, it leads.
It's no comfort, and I don't see how it can be, to the people who lose their jobs because manufacturing is moved to Malaysia or China, that elsewhere in the American (etc.) economy someone is making more money.
which people have resisted globalisation are varied even without government support."

You're right, he should name some. But, come to think of it, isn't this the final paragraph? Did he name any earlier?
Look, I know about bad writing, I still cringe when I recall something I wrote in the 9th grade. I mitigated my problem by majoring in math, and later by working as a computer programmer**, which both probably require the least amount of writing of all similarly valued fields. If this guy doesn't get better, maybe he can do the same.
**I don't use any of those other fancy-shmancy terms.
Tremendous concluding paragraph!! Fran

s/ meirman
Posting from alt.english.usage

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say if you are posting the same response.
Town NW of Pittsburgh Pa. 0 to 10 years
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Chicago 6 years
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now in Baltimore 22 years
I didn't get the joke when FRAN posted, and I ... clear referent ("to prevent its continuation"), what's the big deal?

The big deal is that the writer says nothing in very many words.

Really? That's it? There must be millions of hundred-word passages in existence that don't say very much why did anyone bother to type out this one in particular?
You are filling in lots of blanks,

Actually, I merely explained what the concern of "globalization" is.
but the writer proves only that he or she is ignorant about "globalization".

Then you must think it is something different than I do. Since I bothered to explain my idea of what it is, maybe you could explain yours. Somehow I figure you to be a person who has strong opinions on this, although I don't remember which way.
I learned absolutely nothing from reading the student's final paragraph. That's because the student said nothing.

No, that's because it's a final paragraph. I have to assume that the rest of the paper said what the "ramifications" were, and the "many improper uses of the term," why people saw "globalization as inevitable and without any benefits," and what the many actions were that were taken to "prevent its continuation." This is not nothing. This is summarizing a considerable number of points that have gone before in my humble estimation.
(I had to repeat that so you'd get it.)

Right, otherwise I'd accuse you of merely failing to see what is there.

Still perplexed Donna Richoux
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I didn't get the joke when FRAN posted,

The bit I liked was "This ... changed the public's view of the world and led to many people taking action to prevent its continuation."

That's the same thing I pointed out, the "unclear referent" for the pronoun "its". You couldn't find anything better either, then.

Best Donna Richoux
meirman filted:
"Despite its lack of definition, globalisation, has quite a great

The word isn't defined (I think it is) or the limits of the word's applicability isn't defined (It's probably not well defined. Many notions aren't.) But it's not clear which he means.

In this case, I'd say "lack of definition" means "I tried to look it up in a dictionary (probably one that uses the zedful spelling), but I couldn't find it"..r
(snip intervening discussion)
I'd call it "waffle" - either noun or verb. MW suggest that's "(Chiefly Brit.) wordy, vague, or indecisive talk or writing." COD gives "verbose but aimless or ignorant talk or writing." It was the standard term when I was at school.

So, would you mind pointing a particular sentence that waffles? I'm really trying to understand what it is people see in this.

(I'm still hoping to hear what "POMO" means. See Subject line.)
Thanks - Donna Richoux
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The bit I liked was "This ... changed the public's view of the world and led to many people taking action to prevent its continuation."

That's the same thing I pointed out, the "unclear referent" for the pronoun "its". You couldn't find anything better either, then.

It is written like that dumb jock giving his final presentation speech before the entire student body in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure". He's desperately trying to explain "the future" and everything he comes up with he can't actually say anything about. The audience is bored, restless, ready to leave. He tries saying that the future is "computers", which also says nothing. Finally in desperation he gives up and shouts, "San Dimas High School football rules!", and the kids go nuts, shouting and clapping and cheering their fool heads off. The teachers are dismayed.

"He's asking if you killed Freddie Miles and then killed Dickie Greenleaf."
"No, I did not kill Freddie Miles and then kill Dickie Greenleaf." -, "The Talented Mr Ripley"
(snip intervening discussion)

I'd call it "waffle" - either noun or verb. MW ... It was the standard term when I was at school.

So, would you mind pointing a particular sentence that waffles? I'm really trying to understand what it is people see in this.

(I'd say that a person waffles but that a piece of writing is waffle - but others may use the term differently.)
The paragraph could be summarised as "Globalisation is very important. It has something to do with capitalist economics. A lot of people oppose it." The first couple of sentences set the tone. "...globalisation has quite a great impact on society, the world and people as a whole. Its ramifications are widespread..." The student has managed to say the same platitudinous thing four times.

Waffling depends heavily on hedging your bets (e.g quite a great impact), using as many words as possible to fill the space and hinting airily that you know more about the subject but aren't telling - "The ways in which people have resisted globalisation are varied even without government support." (etc. etc.) I once finished an economics essay with "...but the dynamic effects may outweigh these disadvantages." I didn't give any detail because I had no idea what I was talking about. I got away with it, though.

Phil C.
This is, obviously, a gallant attempt to answer a question ... Perhaps your husband has a budding politician in his class?

I didn't get the joke when FRAN posted, and I don't get it from this remark either. Surely the student ... find three definitions of "POMO" is this supposed to be "post-modern"? Unclear on the concept Donna Richoux

While other posters are correct to say it's a waffle, what's funny about it and what makes it "POMO" (post-modern) is the near complete disappearance of human agency in a key assertion made by the writer, in favour of the struggle over meaning. According to the student:
"the ramifications (of globalisation and its impact on society) are widespread, and many of them are caused by the improper use of the term."
So the improper use of a term (is Cyber licking his lips here?) has caused many of the ramifications. Presumably, if the term had been used otherwise or in some more accurate way, globalisation's "ramifications" would have burdened society in some other way, or perhaps more lightly.

Globalisation, if it is to have any "ramifications" or "impact on society" must alter the way people deal with each other. It must be a set of economic, social or political measures or policies that change human behaviour and thus their life chances. As far as I can tell, the term "globalisation" describes a set of trading and capital flow practices, and the political and diplomatic arrangements attaching thereto. For better or worse, it's entirely a set of human behaviours that has "impacts". Reification is common in academic discourse, but this example takes the practice to new heights.
How people use the term, or where it fits into "narratives" (a favourite of the POMO crowd) may well tell us something about popular expectations surrounding the policies associated with it or the way people respond to it but it surely cannot "cause" anything beyond letters to the editor or the occasional street protest or instance of parochial angst.
Finally, try as I might I cannot fathom the last sentence at all. What relationship does government support have to the character or form of the protests over globalisation? So that's mere gobbledegook.
Where's Bob Lieblich when you need him?
cheers
Chrissy
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("Followup-To:" header set to alt.usage.english.)
Where's Bob Lieblich when you need him?

Yes, where is his honor, that judicial fellow?
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