Judgment vs. Judgmental

I was thinking about the differences between the noun judgment, “[t]he act or process of judging; the formation of an opinion after consideration or deliberation,” and its adjective judgmental, “[i]nclined to make judgments.” The adjectival form, by being inclined to make judgements, seems to suggest more opinionated based on prejudices rather than inclined to form them after consideration or deliberation.

To clarify a bit more, I turned to Webster, which has seven aspects to the definition of judgment:

  1. The act of judging; the operation of the mind, involving comparison and discrimination, by which a knowledge of the values and relations of things, whether of moral qualities, intellectual concepts, logical propositions, or material facts, is obtained; as, by careful judgment he avoided the peril; by a series of wrong judgments he forfeited confidence.
  2. The power or faculty of performing such operations (see 1); esp., when unqualified, the faculty of judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely; good sense; as, a man of judgment; a politician without judgment.
  3. The conclusion or result of judging; an opinion; a decision.
  4. The act of determining, as in courts of law, what is conformable to law and justice; also, the determination, decision, or sentence of a court, or of a judge; the mandate or sentence of God as the judge of all.
  5. (Philos.) (a) That act of the mind by which two notions or ideas which are apprehended as distinct are compared for the purpose of ascertaining their agreement or disagreement. See 1. The comparison may be threefold: (1) Of individual objects forming a concept. (2) Of concepts giving what is technically called a judgment. (3) Of two judgments giving an inference. Judgments have been further classed as analytic, synthetic, and identical. (b) That power or faculty by which knowledge dependent upon comparison and discrimination is acquired. See 2.
  6. A calamity regarded as sent by God, by way of recompense for wrong committed; a providential punishment.
  7. (Theol.) The final award; the last sentence.

My sense is that judgment, in modern usage, sticks with the main line of the definition in 1, i.e., careful consideration of discriminating rightly, justly or wisely. Whereas judgmental conveys the sense of the definition of 2 and 4, it’s an opinion by the unqualified, rendered based on whether it conforms to some arbitrary standard. Interesting that the form of the word can give such a different shade of meaning.

Semi-Auto Cut-Up: The First in the First Place

The first in the first place,
The Others, standing beside us.
Aware of destruction, strange,
ineffectual, a matter of force.

The bare path, dark and closed,
From the stairs, an ascent of
story, a complicated service, clean,
psychological, a social alone.

The world has not yet been consumed
by the light of the stars. A universe
has all time and space, experience
a sliver, taste a slice of the whole.

Poem written primarily with Robin Sloan’s Writing With the Machine neural network with a sprinkle of Webster’s and some selection, moving about and adding of pieces to turn it into something that makes sense. Strikes me as a quick method of “writing” cut-up poetry. Although, given the source material for the neural network, these will be science fictiony until I can train up another corpus.

I think I’ll be able to try a King James version assisted composition, maybe tomorrow.

Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) on StarDict on Ubuntu/Debian

So, after reading “You’re probably using the wrong dictionary,” I thought I would give installing Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) on a Debian-flavor of Linux a try and write it up the process and some observations of its use.

Installation on a Debian-flavor of Linux is straight-forward:

$ sudo apt-get install stardict
$ cd Downloads
$ wget https://s3.amazonaws.com/jsomers/dictionary.zip
$ unzip dictionary.zip
$ cd dictionary
$ tar -xvjf stardict-dictd-web1913-2.4.2.tar.bz2
$ cd stardict-dictd-web1913-2.4.2/
$ sudo mv *.* /usr/share/stardict/dic/
$ stardict

This launches the main application. There is also a mini-window that can be moved to where you like and then you can use it with other applications by highlighting text. Here’s a screenshot of this article:

When you highlight a word, it will automatically be searched for and displayed in the mini-window.

Entries include pronunciation, etymological origin, related words, definition and an example of usage, often from literature. I can imagine this being a very useful tool. It might be worth checking if my writing from this date changes in an appreciable way and whether it is an improvement or not. I suspect it will be very useful.