Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Real Definitions

When you look up a word, you'll notice that there are a bunch of different definitions. I think, maybe there are too many. Well, maybe not, but the reader needs to understand that these aren't a bunch of separate definitions usually, not as often as it would appear. Here's a word with two different definitions actually. "Too" is an example.

adverb- to a higher degree than is desirable, permissable, or possible. "you're too big."

adverb- in addition. "Is he coming too?"

Here's when it looks like the definitons are different, but they are not entirely seperate from each other.

verb- to show or explain to someone how to do something. "When will you teach me how to ride a bike?"

verb- to cause someone to learn or understand something. "Michelle taught me that dames ain't so bad after all."

The dictionary seperates these definitons, but maybe we ought to decide which of these means to teach rather than to say they both do. People can claim that they teach children how to read and everyone will think they're so wonderful, when the reality is they try to teach children how to read, but not a one has read yet, for example. With these both being acceptable definitions it enables "try to teach" to be synonomous with "teach."

Language is a very fluid thing that changes all the time and right now, the dictionary acknowleges this and attempts to act as a general guide for the actual dictionary which exists in our hearts and minds or something, but what if there was some kind of precise human language dictionary that didn't allow for silliness like the above sillyness. Well, maybe there doesn't need to be a dictionary like that, but there does need to be me, posting about the definition of words in a more essential sense. Kind of like this:

How about the word "beat"? "To hit or strike something in a very definite and repetitive fashion. How would this definition apply to different versions of the word "beat?" Well, it certainly works for "beat" as in to "beat up or assult physically." Parts of it also work for the "beat" in music. It works a little bit for a cop on his beat. Its repetitive. It's the rout he takes, day in day out. Its very definite, because he is supposedly a steadfast force that is there for the sake of safety, and people feel more safe when they know there is regularity. Yeah. That's a good example of what I want to try to do.

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