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What does it mean to have taste?

   
What does it mean to have taste?

I find we humans are quite interesting when it comes to what we call "taste". I recently was on YouTube (warning: you probably know where this is going) and on a rather harmless video I saw something that really made me think.

One (very highly rated) comment made a claim along the lines of (omg the game this song is from is way better than anything else made nowadays), you know some really pretentious and narrow-minded comment you're bound to see made by the average YouTube commenter. In response, a rather meek comment was made. A comment that only stated "not true". This comment was subsequently given so many negative votes that it became hidden and another commenter responded saying essentially (You are wrong and you have no taste.)

Whether or not who was wrong is entirely subjective of course, however it did get gears turning in my head. What does it mean to have taste? We say stuff like having good or bad taste as though all opinions from someone with good taste is true, and all opinions from someone with poor taste is not true. Even though it can be conflicting on how it is determined that someone has good taste or any taste.

I know I have done this, as I have constantly berated family members for having bad taste in music and movies, even though I like many things in those categories that they like as well. I mean it is easy to pick on people with unpopular opinions or with opinions that differ from our own, but what exactly defines what taste is? I've heard people downright insult film directors or comedians who are popular, and I've heard people stick up for whatever they like even if popular opinion says otherwise.

How do you guys define what it means to have taste? Or should the entire idea of taste be thrown out of our heads since opinions don't determine what is good or not, the subject being examined itself does.

As far as I can tell 'having good taste' is just another way of saying 'having opinions and preferences shared by the perceived majority'. Conversely, 'having bad taste' is just another way of saying 'having opinions and preferences not shared with-, or even found offensive by the perceived majority'.
The second versions of each of those are just a bit more 'wordy' than we humans tend to prefer in our casual speech, and so we 'invent' a quality called 'taste' and pretend that it's a real thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keradi01 View Post
How do you guys define what it means to have taste?
If you agree with what I say, then you obviously have good taste. If not, well....you don't.

Since it is a simply a matter of opinion, the more people you have who share similar interests, the more "good taste" you have.

Meaning if you get more people to like the comment 'not true' than the other one, you are then the one with superior taste.

I can't help you with a science definition apart from a link to a dictionary but if someone talks (even truthfully) about someones faults right after they die or at their funeral they'd be in "bad taste".

But generally if people like the same sort of stuff I do they'd have good taste. I have a friend who talks about various movies he's seen or books he's read and typically if he likes something I'm unfamiliar with I will to if I try it. I'd say he has good taste. My brothers music selection comes down to a lot of techno, etc which I can't stand. I rarely click anything he links on facebook because it's never anything I enjoy... he has bad taste in music.

Good/bad taste is usually a subjective judgement, it varies from person to person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Ben View Post
I can't help you with a science definition apart from a link to a dictionary but if someone talks (even truthfully) about someones faults right after they die or at their funeral they'd be in "bad taste".
That's only because in our culture most people feel that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbender View Post
That's only because in our culture most people feel that way.
Most people seem to feel that way about most people.
I can recall at least a few times in recent years when that 'respect for the dead' was quite obviously not the prevailing opinion in many circles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Ben View Post
I can't help you with a science definition apart from a link to a dictionary but if someone talks (even truthfully) about someones faults right after they die or at their funeral they'd be in "bad taste".
This probably stems from our ancestors and their superstitions.




 

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