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In the beginning was the word...John 1:1partial.

 

Say what you mean

 

 

Its Just Semantics
semantics

the study of meaning. Semantics may be approached from a philosophical, or logical, point of view or regarded from a linguistic point of view.

general semantics

a philosophy of language-meaning that was developed by Alfred Korzybski (1879-1950), a Polish-American scholar, and furthered by S.I. Hayakawa, Wendell Johnson, and others; it is the study of... semantics the philosophical and scientific study of meaning. The term is one of a group of English words formed from the various derivatives of the Greek verb semaino ("to mean" or "to signify"). The noun...

 

 

Formal semantics

from logic, history of what is known as formal semantics, or model theory, has a more complicated history than does logical syntax; indeed, one could say that the history of the emergence of semantic conceptions of logic...

 


Communication.  We use language to communicate.  I want to convey something to you and I do it with words.  In business today many people are just cavalier about language.

"Oh, you know what I meant."  NO!

NO!  Say what you mean.  Do not interchange words casually as if it doesn't matter.  WORDS.  Use the most correct words you can to express yourself!

 And please NEVER say "Its just semantics."

The ability to speak was regarded by Descartes as the single most important distinction between humans and other animals, and many modern linguists, most notably Noam Chomsky, have agreed that language is a uniquely human characteristic. Once again, of course, there are problems of definition. Animals of many species undoubtedly communicate with one another. Honeybees communicate the direction and distance of a new source of nectar; a male songbird informs rival males of the location of his territory's boundaries and lets females know of the presence of a territory-owning potential mate; vervet monkeys give different calls to signal to other members of the troop the presence of a snake, a leopard, or a bird of prey. None of these naturally occurring examples of communication, however, contains all of the most salient features of human language. In human language, the relationship between a word and its referent is a purely arbitrary and conventional one, which must be learned by anyone wishing to speak that language; many words, of course, have no obvious referent at all. Moreover, language can be used flexibly and innovatively to talk about situations that have never yet arisen in the speaker's experience--or indeed, about situations that never could arise. Finally, the same words in a different order may mean something quite different, and the rules of syntax that dictate this change of meaning are general ones applying to an indefinite number of other sequences of words in the language.

During the first half of the 20th century, several psychologists bravely attempted to teach human language to chimpanzees. They were uniformly unsuccessful, and it is now known that the structure of the ape's vocal tract differs in critical ways from that of a human, thus dooming these attempts to failure. Since then, however, several groups of investigators have employed the idea of teaching a nonvocal language to apes. Some have used a gestural sign language widely used by the deaf to communicate with one another; others have used plastic tokens that stand for words; still others have taught chimpanzees to press symbols on a keyboard. All have had significant success, and several apes have acquired what appears to be a vocabulary of several dozen, and in some cases 100 or 200, "words."

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