Wednesday, December 04, 2013

What was that?

Words develop in meaning and significance; symbols change over time, as we have also seen already. Because of these factors, it is not always possible to say that to know what a text says is to know what it means. Communication is far more complex than this allows, and one suspects proponents of this view might acknowledge as much in actual practice. There are numerous occasions, for example, when literal interpretation does not account for the intended meaning of an author’s utterance.—Toward a Poetics of Genesis 1-11 , pages 57-58

<idle musing>
I know you heard what you thought I said, but is what you heard what I really said?!

I had a Classics professor once who said you could read a whole page of Aristotle and not refer to the lexicon—but that didn't mean you knew what you had just read! Communication is more than just words; communication is the meaning behind the words...
</idle musing>

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