word-use (was OT feminisms (was Meredith Ann Pierce))

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Thu Mar 11 07:17:28 EST 2004

Gili replied to Roger:

>>I take the unfashionable view that language is for communication rather
>>than self-expression. When I choose to use a word, part of that choice
>>must be based on the intended audience and my understanding of the
>>associations they are likely to make with that word; it can't be purely
>>on the formal definition and the associations _I_ make with it.
>I agree with you, but Humpty Dumpty doesn't:
>"'When *I* use a word.' Humpty Dumpt said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it
>means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nore 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.'

Impenetrability, that's what I say.


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