TOPICS:Knowing the meaning

The meaning of what is expressed relies on the addresser or speaker’s communicative context.

Generally, people — while deducing conclusion from what they hear — confine themselves into their temporal and spatial references and derive the purports differently, which, in fact, is wrong. I favor speaker’s context over the listener’s when it comes to decoding the real intended meaning.

The real meaning of any expression or utterance comes only if the addressee knows the spatio-temporal perspective of the speaker, because otherwise the former could face an undesired pragmatic result.

The expression “move the chair a little to the left,” could mean a different place to the addressee standing in front of his addressor if the former confined him in his context only. It’s to be taken note of.

Eighteenth century expressive

theorist Edward Young is right to believe that emphasis should be given more to originality and innate “genius” than to readers and “works” alone, unlike what pragmatic and objective thinkers thought.

Sharing my personnel experience, I once telephoned my brother, who lives abroad, at around 9 o’clock one fine morning. I, being the anchor of my family, advised him to drive slowly to be out of reach of any deadly situation. He liked driving very fast while I was a didactic brother.

Speaking over wire with him, I did not realize the early morning to the listener’s clime, neither did the listener realize the communicative context of the speaker (me).

He, later, took me seriously for I uttered the word — deadly — of bad omen early in the morning. Had he only tried to understand the temporal position (it was already morning here) of the speaker, he would not have taken my advice otherwise, but he did.

All fluffs caused by the misfired meanings due to the contextual differences, and ignorance over them are not easy to take.

My point is that a listener or addressee rather than the speaker or addressor should take the latter’s spatio-temporal reference into consideration to deduce the real intention of any expression and utterance, and for the intended pragmatic result. That will save many a eggs in the basket.