View Full Version : Language

4th May 2011, 10:15
'Words are for meaning; when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.' Everyone here I'm sure has seen a quote or phrase which simply speaks to them, and yet noticed that to another, it seems almost meaningless. Rephrased sometimes, one notices that the other catches on and sometimes will say something along the lines of, 'well, that's obvious' or get the whole epiphany like understanding.

Primitive language, complex. Every society has a language, and there are more societies than one might imagine. Medical societies, legal, military, religious, philosophic, scientific, pop-cultural, even down to a group of friends using words in their own way. An issue in understanding is, language blends throughout these societies. Words meaning one thing in English are extended to mean a number of things, incorporating meanings from various societies.

Do you see how this can be an issue?

The way language has evolved means that if I asked you, 'do you understand', I could mean, say, 'do you comprehend', which would be English, and 'do you stand under my authority', which would be legal. Is that surprising? How are you to know which I am using? Colloquialism? Precursors? Uniform? Do you go under the basic assumption that I am using English (which English, which definition), or by trying to find the gist of what is being said?

It can be seen that many a person using language is unsure themselves of exactly what they mean, and in these instances, one will see language is being used fictitiously causing a number of discussions and arguments about essentially nothing.

I believe people base their understanding of any given statement under a general gist of what is being said -- and people evolve their own dialect to which they translate other peoples statements to (which unfortunately stops people from believing they are hearing anything new, as the actual meaning is lost in translation as it were, until clarified).

Here is a good example:

Person 1 says something along the lines of, 'I really disagree with you.'
Person 2 says something along the lines of, 'You're wrong you bloody imbecile.'

In this case, Person 1 and 2 mean the exact same thing. Their own dialect and preferences are simply different. The offence taken by someone may be heightened to Person 2 for his dialect, what is seen as 'harsher' language, because words that rhyme with duck, ditch and so on, have been deemed obscene and unpleasant.

Language is language -- you look for what meaning the speaker is trying to put forth, rather than focus too much on the words used. So in essence, you can tell someone that you don't think what they said is agreeable, and someone else can tell that person they're bonking mad for what they said -- the meaning that each speaker is trying to put forth is very much the exact same thing.

I am not precluding that some people are simply argumentative or destructive, but I am saying that one shouldn't deem one as such simply for the words selected (or preclude one for being such for the niceties selected) -- only meaning should be important, only the search to understand each other and life itself in all its forms is important.

Of course, one doesn't have to like or allow every dialect. Confusion and dislike stumps growth and the flow towards desired goals.

In any case, each person has their own dialect, which may share a majority of similarities with other peoples dialects, but will naturally have several differences -- with some more than others, of course. As a result of ego, pride, etc, people tend to jump on what they'd see as contradictions and argue endlessly when at times, they mean the same thing, only their language is different.

A great example is a wise scientist and a wise religious person discussing life. The religious person will explain things with words such 'God', 'holy spirit', etc, and the scientist will use 'universe', 'atoms', etc. The discussion will go along the lines of the scientist talking quantum physics, how we're all connected, and the religious person talking God is everything, universal consciousness. Essentially, they come to a strikingly similar if not, the same understanding -- only the language used, the symbolism they attach to their understanding has differed. Once this is understood, the words can be forgotten, for the understanding is clarified.

To me, there is no real distinction between science, religion and philosophy -- they're all branches of the same tree, all seeking to answer the questions of life in their own way through their own means. A philosophy believed in is what? A religion. Philosophical or religious claims which are demonstrable and repeatable are what? Science. It is funny how science catches up to religious/philosophical claims as technology grows, and conversely, how religious/philosophical claims tend to incorporate science. As if they are related, no?

Science changes, philosophy changes and religion changes. I put them all under the simple banner of philosophy, though the banner itself doesn't matter. The distinctions are too much a cause of confusion, and a 'stumping' of growth is thus caused in each of the distinctions, as it were; yet they all in their own ways flow towards the same understanding. Humanity finds a way, flow is the course of nature.

Understanding what a person means enough, is difficult; decidedly so given the many confusions of language. We should strive to listen and attempt to understand what a person is saying, especially rather than jump on and attack minor contradictions and confusions, which may not be what we think after some clarification in the end. It is all flow.

'A trap is for fish; when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits; when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning; when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.'

On a side note but on a similar vein, kudos to the work of the Avalon moderators. It is not easy to keep a forum of so many flowing at an ever increasing strength.