Author Topic: Words Have Meaning - and They May Differ from Culture to Culture Including ALPB  (Read 593 times)

Randy Bosch

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Since so much effort is invested on this Forum on the meaning of Words - and how wildly the perceived, literal, cultural, historic meanings vary so much even within a small community like ALPB, I thought that the linked article may find some interest here.

https://www.are.na/blog/tenderness-shares-a-root-with-attention

A thought, and reminder to self: Pay/Lend/Gift/Do Attention to what others write or say, and put the best construction on that .

Randy Bosch

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Along this line, consider Abracadabra:

"The word is thousands of years old, and it probably comes from the Aramaic: 'I will create it as I speak.
We’re much more likely to believe what we say than the other way around.
Outline, illustrate and argue and you will make it more likely that you believe what you’re saying.
Which is a great reason to be really careful about the arguments we make, because we might end up believing them."
-- Seth Godin, today.

https://seths.blog/2021/07/abracadabra/

Dave Benke

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I spoke recently on the topic of coming out of the pandemic on the connection between
Terrible
and
Terrific

Both come from the root middle eastern word "to shake". 

Shaken, AND stirred.  Not like a good martini.

Dave Benke

Brian Stoffregen

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I have found the origins of the word "nice" to be quite interesting.


Middle English (in the sense ‘stupid’): from Old French, from Latin nescius ‘ignorant’, from nescire ‘not know’. Other early senses included ‘coy, reserved’, giving rise to ‘fastidious, scrupulous’: this led both to the sense ‘fine, subtle’ (regarded by some as the ‘correct’ sense), and to the main current senses.

So, by calling someone "nice," is it a complement, or something else? :)
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Randy Bosch

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I have found the origins of the word "nice" to be quite interesting.


Middle English (in the sense ‘stupid’): from Old French, from Latin nescius ‘ignorant’, from nescire ‘not know’. Other early senses included ‘coy, reserved’, giving rise to ‘fastidious, scrupulous’: this led both to the sense ‘fine, subtle’ (regarded by some as the ‘correct’ sense), and to the main current senses.

So, by calling someone "nice," is it a complement, or something else? :)

So, isn't "nice" merely a word until context, including intent, is applied?  What is your sense?
"The spotter told the sniper, 'Nice shot', when the spotter saw that the target had been killed."
"The parishioner told the Pastor, 'Nice Sermon, Pastor', since his vice was not the target of the law du jour."

Brian Stoffregen

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I have found the origins of the word "nice" to be quite interesting.


Middle English (in the sense ‘stupid’): from Old French, from Latin nescius ‘ignorant’, from nescire ‘not know’. Other early senses included ‘coy, reserved’, giving rise to ‘fastidious, scrupulous’: this led both to the sense ‘fine, subtle’ (regarded by some as the ‘correct’ sense), and to the main current senses.

So, by calling someone "nice," is it a complement, or something else? :)

So, isn't "nice" merely a word until context, including intent, is applied?  What is your sense?
"The spotter told the sniper, 'Nice shot', when the spotter saw that the target had been killed."
"The parishioner told the Pastor, 'Nice Sermon, Pastor', since his vice was not the target of the law du jour."

And there's the linebacker who tells the receiver who dropped the ball, "Nice catch."

As I recall, a homiletics book had a dialogue similar to this.
Parishioner: "Nice sermon, pastor."
Pastor: "That remains to be seen."


And you are absolutely right, a word gains its meaning from its context, including the intent of the speaker; and I would add, within the limits of dictionary definitions.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2021, 06:36:12 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Daniel Lee Gard

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Unfortunately, we live in a time when words no longer mean anything because they can mean whatever people want them to mean. It is Humpty Dumpty time (with apologies to Lewis Carroll),

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”

Dave Benke

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Unfortunately, we live in a time when words no longer mean anything because they can mean whatever people want them to mean. It is Humpty Dumpty time (with apologies to Lewis Carroll),

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”


Well done, Dan.  Everything's scrambled. 

Dave Benke