On Exactitude in Terminology
“A word for which everyone has a different definition, usually unstated, ceases to serve the function of communication and its use results in futile arguments about nothing. There is also a sort of Gresham’s Law for words; redefine them as we will, their worst or most extreme meaning is almost certain to remain current and to tend to drive out the meaning we might prefer.”
-- George Gaylord Simpson
The Major Features of Evolution (1953).
"Imbricated discourses" is a sign of in-group jargon rather than clear thinking: no one can agree exactly on what it means or how "imbricated" is distinct from "partially overlapping" (to recap earlier arguments, "imbricated" means "overlapping just like the tiles on a roof," i.e., the same amount of overlap on each tile. No one, to my knowledge, has explained how discourses could be like this or how we would measure--or even observe--to be sure they were. Thus "imbricated" is a bad metaphor, one that confuses thought rather than clarifying it, and it fails even as a way to avoiding repetition-- for example, saying "overlapping" again and again--because it is opaque to most readers and incorrect in its details.