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jforde's picture

word meanings develop.

I found the thesis to Thought and Word to be anti-climatic. Each phrase before the thesis built up my expectations into reading a thesis that I could not have thought of until the author tell me that "word meanings develop." I find it pretty obvious that word meanings develop since that is the only way that commonly used words could be used in different parts of the world. However I think its a combination of word meanings developing over time in addition to someone originally assigning a word a new meaning. Word meanings have to start somewhere. The Urban Dictionary is a more current example since new words are constantly added into it. Of course I could run an experiement creating a new word, giving it meaning and using it everyday when talking to others. Then I would record how many days later I hear the word being said from somewhere else. One example of showing how both word meanings develop over time and are orignially created by certain person or a group of individuals occured my freshman year in highschool. I was with my soccer team and we were all hanging out. One person made a strange and random comment and another person in response to that said "sorry (name)" only the spoken emphasis would be on the word "sorry." We all found that phrase to be funny and since then, it became an inside joke within the team. Afterwords, everyone seemed to use it out of context and amongst their friends. Within a few weeks later, I heard people that I've never met before in the halls saying the same phrase.

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