• when it hapend

    February 2010
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  • Authors

  • Howdy

  • My Blog

    this is going to be my new blogsite for regular rants of mine.

    This hopefully will supplement my webpages.

    please, if you comment stay on subject. I am interested in feedback, especially real thoughtful feedback. if you don't agree with what i believe that's fine too, but argue about why you believe differently, if that's appropriate.

    and of course, this is for fun interest and for something to think about, not to offend anyone's ideas or beliefs.

  • admin thingy:

Wordsmith

I have always been an avid reader. Words have always been a big deal to me. I find it endlessly fascinating how words shape our lives. In a given day, you could pick any four words someone was going to say at a given time, and those four words could change the future of that time and place.

I have been puzzling over the simple idea that 2 people can hear the same thing and think they heard something totally different from what was said. Odd to me, I have found that some people interpret what they hear phrase by phrase and others add in assumptions with what is being said.  For example, one person says, “It’s almost time for lunch.”, and someone hearing it thinks that it’s almost noon. They assume that lunchtime and noon are the same. Somebody says, “I’m going on break,” and we all have to assume they’re going outside to smoke their cigarettes. But, where the word went and the idea went are two different places.

I thought of a sentence, ” Stop at the Stop sign.” This sentence cannot be more solid, the words have no multiple meanings, or anything like that. The sentence though, has many different interpretations. Really, just look at where people stop when they come to a stop sign. Some stop at the sign, some before, some after, some way before, some don’t stop at all. What’s up with that ?

There are many other things that affect the meanings of words and sentences. Which word you accent in the sentence changes the meaning of the sentence and insinuates something about the word that was accented as well. Obviously, if you use a closely related synonym, that changes the meaning of the sentence slightly or largely, depending on the word choice. “Pause at the Stop sign,” doesn’t mean Stop.

People think I am funny when I interpret a sentence they said and tell them my interpretation, which just shows everyone can see the different meanings of words they have said, sometimes they just don’t pay attention. I don’t understand how people expect to be understood if they aren’t paying attention to what they say.

English, I found out recently, has more words than any other language on the planet. Of course, we have also adopted words from every country on earth as well. And there are words we have adopted from other languages because they mean something special in English, to us. Like, “ciao”, or “je ne se qua”[?], and many more. Also, people are speaking more than one language these days as well, or sometimes just phrases from other languages.

George Orwell predicted that one day we would all speak one language, a mix of  all the major languages we have today. He predicted that minor languages would eventualy dissappear when people adopted larger countries’ langurages. It seems odd that as communciation continues to accellerate, people are communicating thousands of times more than what they used to, that language is becoming more broad and the meanings of even specific words are becoming more broad. What’s unique is that even though certain words are very specific, if the sentence structure is loosely configured then the sentence could mean varied things.

Our langurage just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser.

What’s next for our glorious language ?


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