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Subject: Grammar question: Suspension of belief or disbelief? rss

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Rob
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Consider any movie you've seen which uses special effects or a plot device to portray something outside of normal experience. In order to enjoy the movie, do you have to suspend belief? or disbelief? Are the two interchangeable?
 
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Lajos
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The usual term is "Suspension of disbelief", but this is a question on terminology, not grammar...
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The Steak Fairy
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If you consider your belief to be a pair of pants, then feel free to suspend it. I have suspended my belief in you, until further notice.
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Diane Close
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Sinister Dexter wrote:
Consider any movie you've seen which uses special effects or a plot device to portray something outside of normal experience. In order to enjoy the movie, do you have to suspend belief? or disbelief? Are the two interchangeable?


Since the movie is trying to get you to believe in things that are not true, then you must suspend your disbelief in order to believe.
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Rob
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Koldfoot wrote:
Sounds like you wasted good money on a bad movie.


Oh, I don't know... My statement could easily describe the greatest science fiction and fantasy films ever made.cool
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chris schott
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Mister Crabby and that puppet lady are exactly corect. To further elucidate, a suspension is the result of evenly distributing a nondissolvable pariculate matter throughout a fluid so that the small particles are suspended. Had the matter been dissolvable like salt, the result would be a solution. Therefor, a suspension is called for in the absence a good solution.
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Stephen Glenn
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Right. You're temporarily ignoring (suspending) the part of you that says, "there's no way THAT could happen" (disbelief).
 
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The Steak Fairy
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I have permanently suspended my disbelief in Stephen Glenn, for example. But only because I've met him.
 
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Adrian Hague
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Hmmm, if you suspend disbelief then you believe in something. The two 'negatives' ('suspend' [halt, hold, stop] and 'dis-') cancel each other out, as it would with the phase "I don't know nuthin'" (='I know something')

Or maybe the original phrase is right, and is just one of those quirks of language. For example, why do we say an alarm has gone "off" when it has clearly gone "on"?
 
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MisterCranky wrote:
I have permanently suspended my disbelief in Stephen Glenn, for example. But only because I've met him.


And I'll confess that once MisterCranky appeared with an Alan Moon microbadge my suspension of disbelief regarding his reliability as a BGG member was shattered.
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Tim Franklin
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AdrianPHague wrote:
Hmmm, if you suspend disbelief then you believe in something. The two 'negatives' ('suspend' [halt, hold, stop] and 'dis-') cancel each other out, as it would with the phase "I don't know nuthin'" (='I know something')


That would be the point. You're supposed to believe in the film, despite the fact that what it's presenting to you is nonsense. Because it's nonsense, your default reaction is not to believe it, so it requires you to actively stop disbelieving, i.e. believe. "Suspension of disbelief" because it's a temporary action; you put your disbelief on hold for the duration of the film, making it more enjoyable, but you don't come out of accepting whatever the nonsense is as truth.

 
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It's suspending disbelief.

That is unless you legitimately believe in the Force, flying monkeys, zombies (uh, which I actually do), the Game Grid of Tron, talking fish (or cars and toys)...

Suspending belief is what you do when you watch documentaries.
 
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