U2

I did not mean it like that! Language at its best (or worst).

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Language works in many ways and what someone says may well not truly get to the core of their true meaning or the point they were trying to get across while at the same time the receiver is stumped or takes offense. In the piece of writing, I will try to explain that the English language has many meanings, descriptions, and stumblings that we wonder how someone was actually trying to make their point and did they (or others)really know what they were saying.

In a famous Bertrand Russell’s sentence construction, we can see that we do not hold consistent opinions on facts. On a BBC program in the 1940s, Russell conjugated an “irregular verb” as “I am firm; you are obstinate; he is a pig-headed fool.” These constructions provide excellent illustrations of the varying emotional associations of words and the empathy of meaning.

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What Russell was illustrating was the power of words to convey attitudes (connotations) as well as meanings (denotations).

Moreover, think about the following statements and how they convey their meanings: I am sexually adventurous, you are promiscuous, he is a slut.

We recognise connotation as ‘the emotional implications and associations that a word may carry’ and denotation as ‘the direct or dictionary meaning of a word’.

Dog = man’s best friend (connotation)

Dog = four legged animal (denotation)

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