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Old Saturday, May 24, 2014
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Post "Can meaning be fixed?" --- Have a look

"Can meaning be fixed?", ESSAY - 2014

Seniors, please have a look at the essay. Any criticism are most welcome, and I need some hints so that I could enlarge (its 410 words only ) it.

Outlines:
  • Introduction
  • Etymological example of the word ‘girl’.
  • William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Macbeth” shows words have equivocal and perspective based meanings.
  • ‘Uncertainty principle’ of Werner Heisenberg's theory proves scientifically that meanings/facts are not certain at all occasions.
  • Albert Einstein expounded the concept through his ‘theory of relativity’
  • Conclusion

Essay:

Words, most of the time, have equivocal meanings. The word ‘mean’ has itself got different meanings based on different perspectives. Science of nature teaches us the same principle of uncertainty. Imminent personalities like dramatist and playwright William Shakespeare has tried to convey that ‘phrases’ have got no fixed meanings. Albert Einstein, perhaps the greatest scientist of century, took the same philosophical concept and explained it in scientific terminology. The same hypothesis is also elucidated by German noble laureate physicist Werner Heisenberg scientifically. Briefly, meanings, are not, and cannot be, fixed most of the time.

When we go through the history of development of English language, we come to know that some words that got different meanings few centuries ago, have now completely different meanings. For example, the word ‘girl’ in 12th century CE was used with the meaning ‘handsome person irrespective of male or female’. But now, we see that the very same word is defined as ‘young or relatively young woman’. Etymology comprises hundred of such examples which prove that ‘words do not have same meanings always’.

Similarly, the best poet and playwright of all times, William Shakespeare, in his tragic play ‘Macbeth’, has penned that:
“Life [...] it is a tale;
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

(MACBETH, SCENE. V, DIALOGUE. 5)
In the very same play, he has conveyed, through the tragic story of Scottish general Macbeth who followed the words of weird sisters and finally came to know, just a few minutes before his death, that ‘words have equivocal meanings’.

Also, Werner Heisenberg, 20th century German physicist and noble laureate, in his well-known theory has pointed out the ‘principle of uncertainty’. He has taken the centuries old Greek philosophical concept, and has presented that in scientific context. According to the principle, in natural science, phenomena can have statistical accuracy but ‘none of them can have fixed predictions/meanings’.

Albert Einstein, the German scientist, has also scientifically expounded through his most complicated “theory of relativity” that universe is oriented, and everything in universe is related with another i.e. if one thing changes, the other things also changes. It also means that in universe, in terms of meanings and magnitudes, everything is relative and nothing is fixed.

Conclusively, most imminent philosophers such as William Shakespeare, and famous scientists like Albert Einstein and Heisenberg and others have supported the notion. Moreover, though personal logical observation also it is quite agreeable that ‘MEANING CANNOT BE FIXED’.
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Old Saturday, May 24, 2014
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You can start by explaining meaning of what? Meaning of words/gestures/cultural traits/rituals/ceremonies etc.

Then come to the real question: Can meaning be fixed? Yes or No. Your answer is No, you have to give the reasons WHY? Why meanings of words cannot be fixed? Maybe one reason could be because language is constantly evolving! But then again it begs the question why is it evolving and changing meanings of its words?

The whole essay requires you to justify this thesis with reasons. Examples can come later.
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Thanks for your suggestions, will two paragraphs be sufficient to justify the thesis?
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The whole essay will be justification of the thesis.
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Also the meaning of
Terrorism
Democracy
Justice
Freedom
Etc
Cannot be fixed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usmanwrites View Post
Also the meaning of
Terrorism
Democracy
Justice
Freedom
Etc
Cannot be fixed
Thanks. There are thousands of such examples, as I've mentioned in 2nd paragraph that Etymology comprises hundred of such examples which prove that ‘words do not have same meanings always’.
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Nice essay.
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