From: Will Wagers (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Aug 27 1999 - 09:17:01 EDT
>Semantic domains, etymology, and all those little
>tidbits of trivia are interesting- but not useful in the final analysis
>because words gain meaning only from context. Words dont HAVE meaning, the
>OBTAIN meaning by their contextual usage.
If *context* is restricted to neighboring words on a page, this statement
is clearly wrong. If context includes life situations, it is defensible.
> To isolate a word and assign it
>meaning is futile. Even dictionaries do not attempt this.
That's *exactly* what dictionaries do.
> Instead, they
>use the word in question in a sentence so that its meaning is obtained by
Contextual examples are often given because basic semantic units are, in
many cases, phrases rather than words.
Will Wagers email@example.com "Reality is the best metaphor."
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