Definitions

Definitions have always interested me.  Using words and concepts to break down a word or concept into a form that is understandable.  On the surface, definitions are just that – using words to understand the exact meaning of a word.  The concept of a definition doesn’t get more complicated than that, but the words do.  Can every word or idea be defined?  Why are some words easy to define whereas others are near impossible?  Well, when something is unchanging from everyone’s perspective (like a tangible object) it is easy to define.  What about an abstract idea?  As humans we try to make our lives simpler by using mental shortcuts.  We will accept an idea even if we are unsure of its validity because it puts our minds at ease.  In a sense, we define certain words even when a true definition cannot be created.  Some words cannot be accurately defined because the experience with that word differs too much from person to person – such as love.  Sometimes there is no true definition, so we just make it broad and useless.  What is it in a word that allows us to communicate with the intent to make others experience a mental state we desire.  Make them feel a word that cannot be defined, yet we have the ability to make them experience it – even though we do not know how it is defined in their mind.

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One thought on “Definitions

  1. The best words to evaluate like this is in my opinion the ones that at first glance seem self evident, but actually is found deceptively elusive when examined closer, e.g. alive, dead.

    My best take on those two after giving it far too much thought is:
    Alive: not dead.
    Dead: not alive.
    Consult a medical professional for more information about which one applies to you.

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