Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Word Means

Just because you understand the meaning of a word does not mean that you understand what a word means. For words are just approximations of reality intended to transfer an understanding of our languageless feelings and thoughts. Though their definitions point to certain meanings the true purpose of words is for them to be a means to communicate reality. They themselves are an illusion, imaginary entities on a different plain. So it does not really matter that a word means this or that, it only matters that the word was a means to communicate this and that. A word cannot be more valued than the underlying value it transfers. If the word itself is valued more than the feeling it represents, then the feeling itself is not worthy of being represented with such a word in the first place. The interest in the words themselves irrespective of the underlying meaning is the interest of a digger in the spade more than the process of digging the earth. It is the interest in a musical instrument’s visual elements more than the interest in its ability to produce musical sounds. It is the interest in an imaginary world without the interest in how it brings us closer to reality.

A wrong word used to communicate the correct feeling is worth much more than a correct word used to communicate a wrong feeling

Perhaps that is why we value words so much. We value words because they are the means of being understood. They have the power to share thoughts and with an increasingly complex reality and a wide spectrum of feelings we are in need of an increasingly complex word set and a wide spectrum of vocabulary. Language is one of the few ways man can reach out to the other and that is why we must be careful to learn words for our sake and for each others’.

The value of words is in what they mean, not their definition. People dictate meanings to a word, a word doesn’t dictate meaning to people. Let us be careful that means don’t become an end.

3 comments:

Insomniac said...

nice post.. and yess the baisc importance of words is to reflect the right meaning.. sadly, very few people use words right nowadays or even consider the impact of the wrong words!

Amnesiac said...

"A wrong word used to communicate the correct feeling is worth much more than a correct word used to communicate a wrong feeling."

"People dictate meanings to a word, a word doesn’t dictate meaning to people."

I beg to bloody differ as you know!!

Interesting post.

Will E. said...

@inso: I think that words are what represent thought and thoughts are very dangerous, because they're the source of all actions, so you're right, words are not given their correct weight.

@Amnesiac: I know you beg to bloody differ :) A thought directed at you and the likes of you :p

I'm sure it caused you distress that I called the realm of words imaginary ..