What light do we need? LO28208

From: Ray Evans Harrell (mcore@nyc.rr.com)
Date: 04/11/02

Replying to LO28197 --

Good morning,

This is interesting. You seem to be setting up a level of context that is
what we usually call denotation. In denotation you have the dictionary
meaning of things i.e. it is the mutual agreement of the culture as to
what the language or "information" means in most circumstances. The
second level of context is the connotation or the individual setting or
interpretation of the denotation. Pollution happens when you have the
speaker creating a context for the words that is against the denotative
meanings. Sometimes a poet will do this intentionally and sometimes a
person from another culture will enter into the language and give a "slap
in the face" to those who would sneer at his donatitive ignorance but the
most common reason for this distortion is the professional who has
captured the word (economists and psychologists are particularly bad about
this) and changed its meaning to meet the new specifics of his language
needs rather than making up a new word. Where the poet is trying to bring
the audience back to the essence of the meanings of the words like Dylan
Thomas' "Heron-priested shore" by exploring its deeper possibilites in
connotation and description, the scientist more often is just destorting
the meaning in an act of colonial territory grabbing. I believe that
English has been almost destroyed by such things. We now hear said about
English what is often said about Art, that it really doesn't have any true
denotation and that everything depends upon the context. It takes a
Master to be able to make such a statement, otherwise it is a matter of


Ray Evans Harrell

> information is neutral until put in a defined context and then it takes on
> a particular meaning. It is this meaning that is acted upon and refined
> further.
> also information as organised data is infinite, it requires context to
> delimit it so it can be used.
> context is the particular frame of mind of the observer. each person thus
> sees what he wants to see.


"Ray Evans Harrell" <mcore@nyc.rr.com>

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