The Piñata Effect

From Categorism.com
Jump to: navigation, search

A word can become bloated. Over-burdened with meaning to the point where it becomes meaningless or at least hard to use in a meaningful manner.

People need words to express things they need to talk about. When the words they have aren't enough, there are three ways to handle that.

1. Find words and meanings others are already using but you don't know about yet.
2. Give new meanings to existing words.
3. Make up new words.

A balance is always needed between these strategies, and they need to be combined with each other in a fruitful manner. Always look for existing words and meanings first. Since people will always use the same word in slightly different ways anyway, there is a seamless transition from researching existing terms to giving terms new meaning. Eventually a word becomes loaded with too much meaning. Thus inviting equivocation, eventually to and beyond the edge of making it a conceptual piñata which needs to burst for meaningful conversations to be had.