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01 April 2005 @ 08:46 pm
"When I use a word...  
...it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."
- Through the Looking-Glass, Lewis Carroll


Why is it that something which should bring us together, tears us apart instead? Somehow I think it should be easier than it is.

Interesting piece on the need for common definitions

I think this applies just as much or moreso on the individual, personal, one-to-one level as it does in more impersonal or group situations.

-the redhead-
Bill the bold bosthoonwcg on April 2nd, 2005 03:56 am (UTC)
I think that the closer the relationship, the greater the need for agreement on meanings. I spent a long time after marrying pagawne learning what specific words meant to her, and explaining what they, or other words, meant to me. I think that effort paid off in later years.
-the redhead-theredhead on April 2nd, 2005 04:14 am (UTC)
In some ways the idea that a symbol (or set of symbols, aka a 'word'), printed or enunciated, can carry meaning in and of itself is totally ridiculous.


Because the meaning of it all depends on what you remember from previous experience - one's "reality tunnel." And no two are alike.

-the redhead-
Emilydedamona on April 2nd, 2005 05:11 am (UTC)
just ran across this
try jaques derrida (not sure on the spelling on the last name). he was a french philosopher (just passed away in the past few years) who specialized in language deconstructionist theory. the basic explination is that if i tell you about my parents' dog, you won't have a mental picture of said dog because you have no experiential knowledge of said dog. the picture you get in your head will be one based upon your experience. even if i get more specific and say my parents' lasa apso, you still don't have an exact picture. even if i say my parents' white and tan lasa apso, it's still not there. without the direct shared experience of the same word in question, we can only linguisticly give a rough sketch at best. the only chance we have for completely understanding is the same experience, but even that is potentially lacking due to dissimilar prior experience. (i wrote several papers on this stuff. i love it. it's great to throw out at men hitting on me in the bar and prove how their words have no meaning to me.)

just though you might find more info on the topic interesting.
-the redhead-theredhead on April 2nd, 2005 05:26 am (UTC)
Re: just ran across this
Thank you! Interesting stuff is always appreciated, and I see I will be doing some further research.

-the redhead-