Semantics

a picture is worth 1000 words

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…but which words, exactly?

Before you squawk semanticist–
Give me 1000 words for this picture, compare it to the next commenters 1000 words, comment back what their words mean in your own words, and/or draw a picture based on their words. If it is easier, start with 100 words, or even just 10.

set the scene–
primarily pink
a touch of green
flecks of red
a golden gleam
indecent exposure
liquid strangers
photo sin thesis
festive pranksters
sun spot blinders
de-arranger
black & white
graffiti gray
prismacolor
acid rain
tapestry woven
in tense disdain
fornication
in obscene name
a curse, a swear
profane love
a witty dare
screamed in passion
uttered in fear
flung for fashion
a viscous sneer
focus, focus
hocus pocus
a gentle bow
in falling dew
a fuzzy fwip
a curtsied skew
spin and dip–
the leads on you
hand in hand
shoe on shoe
word for word
view for view

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


With 10 words, I have a catchy hook.
With 100 words, I can spin a verse of visual imagery, motivational complexity, and a tease of linguistic philosophy.
With 1000 words, I can bore you with semantics.

In the words of Savage Garden– a thousand words will give the reason why I don’t need you any more. By today’s standards, a quick pic of their tiny dick with a Sweet Brown meme says just as much, right?

94d74643939cd685a54ae8065ce91cd3f66a8aa727239585983bd879b07b2793

Errybody complaining that nobody “gets it” but “ain’t nobody got time” to speak out exactly what “it” is they want people to “get”

A snowball effect of colloquialisms, presumptive universalities, and logical fallacies establishes “it” as an unspoken statement of the obvious, and thus, explanation is in itself an admission of obliviousness, in which case, if one does not “get it” by simple reference, then “it” is a concept that can not be “gotten” within the context of language as they know it.

Any attempt to communicate across such a divide is labelled as semantics, met with exasperation, and widely considered to be obnoxiously exorbitant… illustrator Jeff Mallett knows what I’m talking about–

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Modern technology has made communication with audiences of any size at any distance as simple as the touch of a button… but with simplification of our means of communication, came simplification of content.

Ratings for this type of content are off the charts– given our rising population and the increased availability of internet connectivity, this is not so much a sign of superiority as it is a statistical inevitability.

With the dawning of the age of Aquarius came a technological boom that would come to define the Millennial generation. Marked by the coming of the new millennium, the invention of memes, and the hands of the doomsday clock ticking ever closer to midnight… this global culture-shock forged a divide that has fundamentally changed our understanding of language.

when_you_assume

They say that to “assume” makes an “ass” of “u” and “me” but we go on assuming that such assumptions apply only to the assumed target of the phrase, while the assumer is exonerated by… perception of moral superiority?

When I say that is a contradiction, I am arguing semantics.
But it isn’t just semantics, being a particular word choice, it is the very semantics of logic itself… a concept that is discussed below in British context, whilst poignantly absent in the American understanding of the word.

You may question if it is really necessary to cite not one, not two, but three dictionaries just to make this here point about semantics…

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If these 1000 words are not adequate enough to stress the necessity of expressly establishing common terminology within the context of a conversation for the purpose of mutual understanding across language barriers, perhaps that meme will suffice.


dictionary_splash_medium

semantics

 [si-man-tiks]

noun

(used with a singular verb)



1.
Linguistics.

  1. the study of meaning.
  2. the study of linguistic development by classifying and examining changes in meaning and form.
2. Also called significs. the branch of semiotics dealing with the relations between signs and what they denote.

3. the meaning, or an interpretation of the meaning, of a word, sign, sentence, etc: “let’s not argue about semantics.”

British Dictionary definitions for semantics

semantics

/sɪˈmæntɪks/

noun (functioning as sing)

1. the branch of linguistics that deals with the study of meaning, changes in meaning, and the principles that govern the relationship between sentences or words and their meanings
2. the study of the relationships between signs and symbols and what they represent

3. (logic)

  1. the study of interpretations of a formal theory
  2. the study of the relationship between the structure of a theory and its subject matter
  3. (of a formal theory) the principles that determine the truth or falsehood of sentences within the theory, and the references of its terms
Derived Forms
semanticist, noun

Word Origin and History for semantics

n. “science of meaning in language,” 1893, from French sémantique (1883); see semantic (also see -ics ). Replaced semasiology (1847), from German Semasiologie (1829), from Greek semasia “signification, meaning.”

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semantics


Definition of semantics

  1. the study of meanings
    a: the historical and psychological study and the classification of changes in the signification of words or forms viewed as factors in linguistic development
    b (1):semiotics (2): a branch of semiotics dealing with the relations between signs and what they refer to and including theories of denotation, extension, naming, and truth

  2. general semantics

  3. a: the meaning or relationship of meanings of a sign or set of signs; especially:connotative meaning
    b: the language used (as in advertising or political propaganda ) to achieve a desired effect on an audience especially through the use of words with novel or dual meanings

oxford2bdictionary2bof2benglish2bpremium2b5-1-0562bapk2bfor2bandroid2bdownload2b252812529

semantics

plural noun


1 [usually treated as singular] The branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning. The two main areas are logical semantics, concerned with matters such as sense and reference and presupposition and implication, and lexical semantics, concerned with the analysis of word meanings and relations between them.
1.1 The meaning of a word, phrase, or text

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The great heroes of human history, names and deeds forever glorified for acts of unspeakable goodness. We teach about these people, read about them, view them in high-definition plasma-color… we imagine them as larger than life embodiments of ideals altogether unrecognizable in ourselves.

These epic tales of whimsical champions, viscous villains, and brightly colored spandex jumpsuits… inspire a sense of heroism in us, a desire to help others, a call to arms in the battle for the “greater good”

But many of the worst horrors of human history, they-who-shall-not-be-named and dastardly deeds infamized by acts of unspeakable terror… were also perpetuated by people who truly felt in their hearts that they were helping people, that all their efforts were for the “greater good”

Hitler will forever go down in our texts books as a villain, and there are few who would contest that. But Hitler believed himself to be hero, and persuaded many others to believe that as well. He had a vision of what he believed to be a better world, and he wanted to make that vision a reality.

His logic, was deeply, deeply flawed.
But he didn’t need logos to rally the following that he did. He just needed pathos.

Logos without Pathos, doth a jackass make. This reporter will be the first to admit that she is partial toward such jackassery, especially in this dank age of meme.

But Pathos, without Logos, is deadly, and highly infectious.

Finding a balance between the two… without just falling back on Ethos like a Donald Trump “believe me” compilation… is tough, but I do believe we have all made some headway here.

Please discuss.

On that note, I leave you with the musing that I reflect on here tonight, in both the peeve that grinds my righteous gears of indignation, and in self-reflection of such advice I may have yet to take in full heed:

to discuss, is to seek understanding, not to be understood.