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denotation and connotation

By john.a.wills ·
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???logical conflict, between the denotatory and the connotatory sense of words; between, that is to say, an asceticism tending to kill language by stripping words of all association and a hedonism tending to kill language by dissipating their true sense under a multiplicity of associations.
Oxford Poetry preface(1927)
quoted in Emerson: Seven Types of Ambiguity VIII ??2 s.16
Something Ansu wrote reminded me of this.

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From a normative perspective, yes, things start to look dangerous.

by AnsuGisalas In reply to denotation and connotatio ...

But from an descriptive perspective all the dangers turn out to be cases of "System fails to fail as predicted".

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Francis Schaeffer

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to denotation and connotatio ...

spoke of the strictly connotative use of words and how debilitory it is. I figure it's to blame for 'political correctness', oxymoron that is, Ugh.

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Francis Schaeffer probably didn't actually know what he was talking about

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Francis Schaeffer

Connotation is absolutely vital to communication. We CANNOT communicate using determinative atomics, it's simply not possible. For one, we'd have to have vocabularies one thousand times larger than they are now.
We'd also need to use sentences three to ten times longer and more complex than they are now.
Connotation lets us handle the all the details on the fly.

Another reason: We can't help ourselves. We are, therefore we connote.

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hmmm, connote = con+note which means

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Francis Schaeffer probabl ...

we all con whatever we can note - yeah, that's human nature.

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You are right, Ansu.

by john.a.wills In reply to Francis Schaeffer probabl ...

However, there can arise a situation where a word's overlapping sets of connotations make it highly ambiguous. We then have to remember explicitly what we are talking about, which we often fail to do. Another quotation:
Maintaining a distinction between 2 senses of a word requires that some entrenched habits of association be overcome, and that others be formed.
Flew: Thinking 4.10
Otherwise we end up with...
???scrapyard haul of fatigued words deformed by idelogical encrustations; narrowed and belittled words; words which have endured mockery so long they parody themselves in the utterance; which have to serve because nobody has replaced or refurbished them.
Oliver Mundy in Guardian 1995.04.21
But some people fear the progress in thought involved.

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That's why communication is a cooperative effort.

by AnsuGisalas In reply to You are right, Ansu.

It's not possible to communicate by one self.
If you write a message on a piece of paper, it's not actually communication until it is perused by someone, who forms an idea of your intent, be it ever so far from your actual intent. It takes a lot of work to be able to communicate precisely with someone, and it also takes a lot of negotiation.

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hey, mate, you're wrong, me, myself, and I always communicate - nt

by Deadly Ernest In reply to That's why communication ...
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You mean you listen to those two?

by AnsuGisalas In reply to hey, mate, you're wrong, ...

I've learned to just phase out me and myself completely... :^0

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neat trick, I can't do that - nt

by Deadly Ernest In reply to You mean you listen to th ...
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I see I spoke sloppily.

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Francis Schaeffer probabl ...

I've been doing a lot of that lately. My bad.

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