Posted: Sep 16, 2019 10:08 am
by Destroyer
Spearthrower wrote:
Destroyer wrote:Exactly.

Language has one purpose: to convey meaning! It matters not, whether I use the word turkey, when what I am actually referring to is a dog. All that matters is that the recipient of language grasps the exact meaning of its usage.

Right, but concurrent with that is the universality of meaning within that language. While you can of course use the word turkey to mean dog, you cant expect other people to know what you mean unless you first explicitly tell them that you're doing so, similarly you can't expect them to start using turkey instead of dog, and finally and most importantly, if everyone goes round changing words to suit their taste then no one would have a bloody clue what everyone else is talking about as language would become entirely personal and lose its universality of meaning.

I don't see any problem where a binary appellation system is deemed not fit for function, and so another word is sought to not be obliged to fit into that system; but it's a long road to having hand-crafted pronouns enter the language and arrive at fixity across the population. Seems to me that 'they' just solves all the trouble.

Of course. The whole point about the analogy of using turkey instead of dog, is that the recipient is already in the know: hence their grasping of the meaning. But if one goes about using words to convey what is not generally meant by them, then confusion is sure to set in