Language: Semantics & Abbreviation


        Communication is intellectual oxygen.  The ability to send and receive messages and to fundamentally agree on the meaning of those messages is essential to participating in a shared world.  Ambiguity in communication is catered for by mental flexibility.  If I use the word “sphere”, it is by virtue of your mind being able to construct a contextual, dimensional depth around the word that you can extract something of the intended meaning from the context of the communication: was I previously speaking about a domain of political influence or was I discussing mathematics and topology ?  In an analogous manner to the way you can mentally visualise the rotation of a sphere (say, a brightly-coloured beach ball), there exists here an extra dimension of depth from which your intellect will extract and construct context and meaning.

        Allowing that you can extract intended contexts from the majority of the words and more complex concepts I use to communicate my message, I am able to move on to abbreviate my communication in several ways.  By introducing more complex words and sentence structures I am able to convey a larger amount of information than I would be able to through an equivalent number of shorter words and simpler concepts.  Any message deliverable through complex language should certainly be able to be parsed into simpler words and concepts if necessary but the value of the complex text is that of the facilitation of compression and acceleration of message transfer.  More complex messages can not always be delivered through simple communication patterns.

        Nuance and subtlety are also methods of abbreviation which place a certain faith in the mental acuity or intellectual creativity of the intended message receiver.  The language-game of the poet is a special case as it is intentionally shifts the semantic locus of the text (i.e. the reconstruction of the intended message) to the mind of the receiver and induces them to construct their own meanings from relatively limited emotive grammar, rhythmic cues or playful affectations.


Incomplete messages require active listening and creative translation.

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