ForumsThe TavernReinventing the Word: A Pointless Pseudo-Philosophical Pondering

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It would be neat, in multiple senses of the word, if all words were collapsible to discrete packages that conveyed all parts of denotation. At its core, this is a really pointless task, but let's indulge the thought. Words come in many forms, nouns and verbs being the big two. If we strip away everything but noun verb interaction, we lose the nuances; however, this simplifies things and gives us a place to start, so we'll start there. (Note that I already forgo connotation.) We can even further forgo verbs and simplify this Within nouns alone, there are different types of nouns. Some describe objects, some describe ideas, some describe relationships, which is somewhere between object and idea. To further clarify: A rock is an object. A game is an idea. A grain is a relationship. Objects are discrete tangible things. Ideas are on some intangible continuum. Relationships are just arbitrary.

(Note that I'm not actually proving anything. And for those who have already figured out that using words to break down words to reinventing words to neat and discrete meanings is actually begging the question or whatever ridiculous wait-how-can-you-if-you-my-brain-is-hurting whatchamathinghickey, we'll ignore that too. That's why this is a pointless pseudo-philosophical pondering, which itself is an oxymoron. We're also ignoring every form of English that isn't American.)

Let's start with boxes. What makes a box a box? If I say, box, are you picturing a rigid rectangular prism container that opens up? Bam! There's the definition of a box. Rigid. Rectangular Prism. Container. Opens up. If you were to choose one of these words (or phrases) to describe a box, then which one would it be? Container. Function is the most important part here. Let's go back a step and see if the definition is unique. Are all rigid, rectangular prism containers that open up boxes? For all intents and purposes, yes. "Wait a minute!" you say, "Are you telling me a cabinet is a box?" Isn't it? "Wait, what about buses?" you say. Are buses containers? "A bus is a vehicle. A vehicle is a conveyance. A conveyance is a container. So yes." Well, uh, boxes don't have wheels? "So a box is a rigid, rectangular prism container that opens up but is not a bus." Uh, er, um, well darn. We didn't get anywhere after all.

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