Re: Words and Such

I am very uncomfortable with the implications of contributions from
Keith Massey (<NAPH@macc.wisc.edu>) and Bob (ingria@bbn.com).  Keith
said (in message <24051112195205@vms2.macc.wisc.edu>):

        Meaning, as it can at all be theologically significant, is
        conveyed on the level of the sentence, not the word.

Bob agreed (in message <9405111801.AA12712@konitz.bbn.com>), amplifying
upon Keith's statement:

	More generally, at the level of the utterance (since not all
	utterances are sentences).  And more generally still, at the
	level of continuous text (or continuous dialogue, whether
	spoken or written, when we turn away from Scripture and other
	such texts), since unintentional ambiguity that exists at the
	utterance level is typically resolved at the text (dialogue)

The above statements appear to deny that the words chosen to express a
thought are at all significant.  But this isn't true, as can be heard
in everyday speech.  Think of discussing someone you argue with from
time to time:

    If you argue with George, you'll find he's a {          }.

The only difference in the sentence is one word.  But the meanings are
diametrically opposed.

Perhaps I do not understand the argument Keith and Bob are making.
Would someone clarify, please?

					Steve Rice

* Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! *
stever@tv.tv.Tek.com                                   [phone (503) 627-1320]