Home > Communication, Language > Vulgarity of Vague

Vulgarity of Vague

December 24, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

“War is over!…if you want it…”. What is war? Perhaps safety lies in the dictionary definition of the term that suggests an armed conflict. Ok, our example battle with Country X has ended but what of the other wars taking place? What of the wars taking place within each soldier coming home, inside each soul affected by our Example War? Absolute concepts like war fail to communicate any meaning because they mean everything and yet nothing. What is war? What is love? What do these terms mean?

We may have emotional knowledge of these terms we cannot truly communicate our understanding. “Love” is a term given to an emotion within each human being: we feel love, we give love and even “make” love; and yet, we cannot communicate what this means. For such a deep and rich concept the very name we use fails to express what we need. Does the term fail due to complexity? Is love too much of an idea for language? Perhaps language doesn’t work for all things. Does language have limitations in communicating?

Some ideas seem too complicated for language. How might we express concepts of love with a single term. Herein lies a possible solution: correct the limitation by adding example. No, we cannot understand “love” by the lone term, but via the addition of additional ideas and descriptions we can work to express the complicated details of the base term. Let us unpack these ideas and work to more specificity.

Here we find language’s great paradox: more description works to more specificity and simplicity leads to complication. Confused with but a single term we must work to correct confusion.

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