Contexts

10/31/2012

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    A context is the part of a written or spoken statement that precedes or follows a specific word or passage, usually influencing its meaning or effect. A context can be verbal, physical, or social. This is how we learn the meanings of words. The extensional meaning of a word is what points to the physical world. An extensional word can be proven, however, an intensional can't. The true meaning of a word is the way that it is being used right then and there. All the words in a context interact with one another. In order to see if a word fits into a context, we examine and re-examine the cont
 
 
    Any story, fictional and nonfictional, can be affected by its connotation. Connotation is the associated or secondary meaning of a word or expression in addition to its explicit or primary meaning. There are many components that play into a story's connotation. For example, background information about the author may show you why the story has the type of connotation it has. The author's experiences have such an effect on connotation. What time period the author lived in and the time period that the author is talking about effects connotation. The author's ethnicity might also play into a story's connotation. Other things about the author that may play into connotation are the author's age, writing style, personal experiences, country of origin, present home, and attitude towards the audience and the topic.
    The connotation on a peice of writing can be influenced by its subject, word choice, and author's craft. One part of author's craft that could influence the connotation is the mood. Another part of author's craft that effects a writing's connotation is the figuritive language. Rhetorical devices are also parts of author's craft that can play into connotation. Connotation can also be affected by history and the audience. Three things about audience can effect connotation; the intended audience, the actual audience, and the audience's social groups. La
 
 
I am currently reading the book "Language in Thought and Action" by S.I. Hayakawa. In this book, the topic of maps and territories is covered, both literally and metaphorically. Maps and territories are of great use to humanity. The book states that animals and humans both have territories, but only humans are capable of mapping out their territories. this is the literal sense of mapping and territories. However, when we use the terms maps and territories in a metaphorical sense, they take on a different meaning. Maps are the extensional or verbal world. For example, things only exist through what you've heard; they're not really there because you have never experienced them. The verbal world is only what you've heard from others. This is the exact opposite with territories. Territories are your personal experiences. This concept helps shape the way that you look at life and your morals. Both of these concepts, both maps and territories, are ways of looking at situations. When one is "mapping", they are using information that they've heard from someone else. When one is 
 
 
    The book Language in Thought and Action is a book about language and communication and the many ways that it is used. Chapter 1 of this book is entitled "Language and Survival". In Chapter 1, the topics of language cooperation, the pooling of knowledge, and the knids of animals that humans should imitate. The pooling of knowledge is when one learns from others' experiences. The next chapter is named "symbols", and talks about how symbols are used in the way that humans communicate with eachother. The section about symbolic process talks about how humans are able to communicate using symbols, but animals can't. This part of Chapter 2 also talks about signal and symbol reaction. Language and symbolism is also talked about, and how there is no connection between the symbol and the thing being symbolized; we just agree that the two go together. Lastly, Chapter 2 also talks about maps and territories. The metaphor is used to show that maps are the "verbal world", the places you haven't visited, while territories are the "extensional world", or your experiences. Chapter 3 of this book is titled "Reports, Inferences, and Judgements". The topics covered in this chapter include verifiability,inferences, judgements, how judgements stop thought, snarl & purr words, slanting, and discovering bias. All of these topics play into how someone feels about something or the way the say how they feel about something. For example, snarl and purr words add connotations, giving clues about a person's reaction to something.
 
 
There are a lot of things that humans receive from other humans, situations, or objects in general. Many of the things that humans get are because of something that they did. Humans receive all kinds of things as consequences, being good or bad. However, humans do not get anything that they receive for free. For example, humans do not receive a reward nor a punishment for free. When a human receives a salary, it is because they worked for it. It's not just physical things that apply to this. Humans recieve consequences for the things that they do. There is never a situation where something happens because of something that someone did not do, unless it is because their lack of action led to a consequence.
 
 
    There are many features that humans have that cannot be found in any other species. These features that make us different from other species could be physical, mental, or many more. One way that humans differ from other species is our form of communication. A majority of other species communicate with each other as well, but our communication system is much more complex. This is what makes us human.
    Humans communicate with each other in various ways. Someone could say the same thing two different ways, making the sentence sound either positve or negative. For example, someone could tell you that "Your dress looks nice on you", or, someone could say "Your dress looks great on you now that you can fit into it". The way that people say things can affect how what is being said is percieved. This is because of the human's use of connotation. 
    The pooling of knowledge also makes us different from other species. This is the way humans use other people's learning experiences as their own learning experiences. Humans tend to do this because not every person goes through the same things. Some humans experience things that others don't, or have not experienced yet. If humans didn't look at others' experiences to learn, there would be a lot of catastrophe. Other people's experiences are used so that people can learn from what happened so that they won't be totally clueless when an event happens to them.
    One thing that humans do that other species don't is map things out. Other species have their territories and boundaries, but humans mark these and produce guides to these territories. Humans like to organize things and make sure that disorder does not occur. By mapping out territories, humans find it a lot easier to communicate to each other about the different territories.
    The use of symbols is very common in the human communication system. Humans use symbols to represent things that are being said or done. Symbols are used all the time, in every language. There are many uses for symbols. For example, a word or physical object can be used as a symbol for something else. A gesture can also serve as a symbol for something.
    One other thing that differentiates humans from other species is the way that humans judge things. People make judgements on almost everything, whether they know it or not. There is usually a motive to someone's judgement on something.Sometimes, judgements can be made without reason.  The human's use of judgemnt portrays their opinions on certain people, topics, places, or situations. Judgements that are made can either be positive or negative. People judge things based on their beliefs and personal experiences.
    Humans are a unique species. We use communication to a higher extent than other soecies. The use of symbols, connotation, pooling of knowledge, judgements and mapping is widespread throughout the way humans communicate with each other. Communication is very significant to survival, but the way that humans communicate goes above and beyonds the means of survival.