There is no such a thing as a simple word. Severally, misunderstandings have occurred among people as a result of their word diction and argument context. While many people believe that bombastic words make an argument or passing information complex, simple words cause more confusion and impair messages more often than the big words.
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This is because people fail to realize the logical, relativism and dynamism that simple words create. People forget even the implication of simple words usage on different occasions such as academics, career and cultural setting. On the other hand, people are very sensitive when using complex words than simple ones.
First language speakers will be quick to notice when they speak to second language counterparts and try to apply the ‘simple words’. Consequently, a grammar class teacher is always keen while teaching children depending on their grades. The pupils themselves become so aware of variation on language that the low graders tend to study hard to know more complex words. As a result, little attention has been given to simple words in many contexts (Goddard, 2004).
A sentence like “It is lawful” sounds pretty clear almost to anyone; however, in reality the sentence is marred with numerous understanding depending on the individual, culture, career and setting where it is used. While the word law is so simple that everyone apparently grasps the meaning, the sentence can logically be termed as ambiguous and meaningless.
An act supported by the word can only be meaningful to scientists under the law of nature. Such laws include the law of gravity that acknowledges that an object will fall to the ground due to force of gravity. Contrary, Christian believers will defy such statement arguing that Jesus ascended to heaven.
Hence, among the Christians there is no law that objects have to fall. Politicians, on the other hand, understand the word law as a governing tool while lawyers, on contrary, take the law as a tool for judgement. There is also the aspect of amoral and moral in understanding the word law. It can therefore, be shown that the word law is not all that simple as several contextual uses need to be considered (Chater & Oaksford, 2008).
Good and evil is another ‘simple word’, which beats logic in arguments. In economics, scarcity of goods causes price increase and a customer is ready to spend any amount on a product. This makes a good opportunity to the sellers as they are able to make extra profits. Among the buyers this is an evil, because they have to purchase at extra cost denying them opportunity to satisfy other needs. Hence, there is no evil and good except under the context it has been applied.
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In some societies, gay marriages are acceptable and considered a good form of relationship, while in others it is an evil and punishable even by death. The simple meaning of good and evil has been lost in the two arguments based on career and cultural set up respectively. The argument also suggests that there is no moral ground unless several other related factors are put into consideration (Hannah & Harrison, 2004).
The word property holds some legal possession; however its meaning as well diffuses as per its use. Before colonization, African lands were societal property where everyone in the community can use. The communities believed that all the lands were their property. When the colonists entered Africa, they took some of these lands and created their white highlands.
They also introduced privatization so that an individual had his own land property. Mostly, fertile highlands became the property of the colonialists. Also in this context, the word property has become so relative that it is almost meaningless (Hannah & Harrison, 2004).
A statement, ‘people must eat in order to survive’ is considered a fact. As a rule in many societies, people eat once, twice or three times a day. This makes the statement a fact that food is necessary for survival. Scientifically, the statement might not be a fact unless proven by systematic experiments. In case, an experiment can prove that people can survive through other mechanisms rather than eating, then the statement becomes more of a fiction.
Based on Christianity setting, Jesus disapproved this fact when he declined turning stones into bread during temptation. Ability for the statement to be a fact also can be individuals’ opinion rather than a community. Personal experiences and environment can make the statement a fact or a fiction to one. A person in a warring country will rather seek safety before gathering food. This implies that survival is not ultimately dependent on food (Hannah & Harrison, 2004).
While people tend to focus on the sensitivity of big words while making arguments, it is vital to consider fallacies associated with simple words. Simple words are never static and universal, when used they send different meaning based on several factors. The appropriateness of a word can only be judged based on the context of its application. Several factors such as career setting, society and cultural backgrounds should be considered when using simple words.
Chater, N., & Oaksford, M. (2008). The Probabilistic Mind: Prospects for Bayesian Cognitive Science. London: Oxford University Press.
Goddard, C. (2011). Semantic Analysis: A Practical Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hanna, P. & Harrison, P. (2004).Word and World: Practice and the Foundations of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.