Friday, May 08, 2015

Meaning and words

We must get used to the notion that meaning is not dependent on specific words. This crucial point is elaborated many times in this book. When we retain a meaningful sequence of words in memory—either short-term or long-term—we are not primarily remembering the string the words at all but rather the meaning that we attribute to them.—Understanding Reading, page 105

<idle musing>
Indeed. How many times can you clearly remember a concept but can't recall the words? They seem to be right there on the tip of your tongue, but you can't pull them up to speak them. Yet you still understand the concept completely. Or you relay an idea with your own words, even though you wish you could recall the words the author used. That's what he's talking about here.
</idle musing>

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