A Story by Desper

A short essay about words and meanings.

The problem with words is they are flexible. The meaning may be extended by context, changed by emotions, transfigured by metaphors. And more often than not, there are many different meanings for the same word. The more complex the story the easier it is to imply more than one meaning. I often find something I didn't want to say in my writings. The words I chose, the images I drew become something that never crossed my mind when I wrote it.

Someone told me once, every word has its meaning, and every idea has the right word. I disagree. I like those people who can express their ideas in a rich and precise manner. They have mastered the dictionary, thousands of words and possibly millions of meanings. And yet I'd argue that one could find ambiguity and imprecision in every story. Imagine then how easy it is to be misunderstood when you use a language you never mastered.

Usually a big part of this problem is solved by the social context. If you are reading a serious novel, you will assume a serious intention, if reading a critic or a humorous one, you will look for second intentions.

Then there is the emotion of the reader who can interpret the same words as an insult or a compliment if he thinks it comes from a hostile or a friendly source.

Then there is the intention of the reader. If a policeman is interrogating a suspect he may be biased to take a meaning that confirms his suspicions. Or a lawyer may want to believe his client because it makes it easy to defend his case.

And at last there is the intention of the writer, who must choose the words to entertain, to transmit, to communicate or simply to express his troubles, fears or wishes.

For my part, I am grateful for all the good writers and amazing stories. I apologize for my poor choices and I wish I will learn and improve my writing here. I appreciate any comment, idea or correction.

© 2023 Desper

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Added on January 24, 2023
Last Updated on January 24, 2023
Tags: reading, writing



For anyone reading my writings, mature means being adult. Nothing more. I think it's a good filter. English isn't my native language. I like stories rather than poetry, but I like poems sometimes. more..