5.22.2007

The Difference Between a Sentiment and an Opinion

There are an awful lot of people who go around espousing what they think are opinions but they are really expressing their sentiments. What is the difference between the two?

A sentiment is a belief held because it makes you feel a certain way, it is not based on rational, deductive logic.

An opinion is conclusion arrived at after careful consideration of the available information.

Where a sentiment can be held in spite of obvious evidence to the contrary, i.e. the Yankees suck, the reality is that they are an incredibly talented group of players being paid exorbitant sums of money. My opinion of the Yankees is that George Steinbrenner is ruining the sport of baseball because he has an addiction to trophies. That opinion is based on him spending ridiculous salaries for aging stars in an effort to get back to the World Series.

Yes, it is a nuance between a sentiment and an opinion but the difference is important because an sentiment isn't likely to be changable whereas an opinion can be (and should be) open for debate and deeper consideration. Say I learned that Steinbrenner wants to win the World Series one more time before he dies of congestive heart failure that he had diagnosed a year or two ago, that puts his spendy ways in a very different light. Doesn't change my sentiment towards the Yankees though, I am, afterall, an Orioles fan (and a Red Sox fan because so much of my family is in New England).

By the way, I am not a fan of Curt Schilling anymore. Not in the light of his spaz-mouth episode a couple of weeks ago. Keep your deeply biased (and factually incorrect) assumptions to yourself, Mr. Holier-Than-Thou. Or let's see your proof, otherwise you're just another jackass spouting off. Or are you going with the best defense is a good offense? I know there have always been whispers about you and 'roids too, Curt.

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