PHILOSOPHY & LIFE

Words Matter

Words Matter

“Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say infinitely when you mean very; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.”― C.S. Lewis

Language has the structure of reality. It reveals reality. Philosophical perplexity or puzzlement is brought about by misleading language. Words are very essential into our day-to-day life. We converse using words. But we need to be careful in using words for they can lead to confusion if we chose the wrong word. The negligence of the speaker contributes to the puzzlement of his audience.

There are lots of misunderstandings because of wrong choice and use of words. There must be an authority to consult in line with words which are essentially contested. There are words which are normative and psychological. Normative words are words which have a general acceptance by others; they have an exact meaning which people uncontestably know. Psychologicalwords are words which vary in meaning according to the speaker’s intention; this are own interpretation of a person. We need both to work hand-in-hand. We cannot favor only one for there will be a tendency to fall short into perplexity.

We need to use words which can be readily be understood by others. We shall not use flowery and bombast words in a conversation just to prove that we are a genius of in kind.

As N.H. Kleinbaum, Dead Poets Society said: “So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys – to woo women – and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won’t do in your essays.”

-Fiel Pareja, MPM



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