Word Meanings Change, Always #2 字謂化也長 二

Word Meanings Change Always

(PD) Wang Ximeng's A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains (Cropping, text, and modifications by Larry Neal Gowdy)

Larry Neal Gowdy

Copyright ©2023 March 27, 2023

Words Change Meanings Always

Seventy to eighty years ago, in the USA it was common for citizens to put on nice clean clothes and to comb their hair before visiting people and stores. A high self-value was of having one's lawn accurately mowed and trimmed, and of having one's hair accurately trimmed and combed. A young child might physically exhibit their happiness of being accurately combed of hair. There was a word that was commonly used to infer accuracy of hair combing, and another common word was used to speak of physically exhibiting happiness. Today, the two words have had their meanings changed, and we can no longer speak the words because the words now socially infer extremely perverted behaviors that do not relate to combing one's hair, nor of being happy. Name meanings change, always.

At about twelve years old, I became aware that my older brothers and their friends used words differently than other age groups. Words relate to one's own life, and the words are interpreted relative to one's own personal history. Two years difference of age between boys, caused the same words to mean slightly different things. Five years difference of age between boys, caused the same words to have a more distant meaning. Name meanings change, always.

A few decades ago, it became socially popular to name individuals with mental deficiencies as gifted. A high school in a city's poorest neighborhood had become used for young pregnant girls, drug addicts, and other children with behavioral problems, as well as for some gifted children. Today, some historians claim that the school was for children of high intelligence because the children were gifted. Name meanings change, always.

A common word of only twenty years ago was irregardless. The word was spoken with emotioned emphases on the 'ir-' prefix to infer a greater degree of 'regardless'. The word irregardless is in older dictionaries. Today, some people who believe in modern dictionaries, complain and say that irregardless is a wrong word. Even when a word does not change meaning, and even when some people continue to use the word irregardless, social trends may purposefully eliminate the word. Name meanings change, always, even when the words' meanings remain unchanged by the original speakers.

Old English of only a few hundred years ago is sometimes difficult to assemble rationally because phonetics and name meanings have changed. Studying ancient Greek proves to be irrational, because modern phonetic Greek words in dictionaries cannot possibly mean the same thing as what they meant when first written. The only known ancient texts that are still able to be meaningfully translated include the early Christian symbolism, and the earliest Chinese texts. The ancient texts remain sensible because the names were written from a firsthand description that is not phonetic. It is not possible to share the same firsthand understanding as the original ancient author, but the ancient Chinese scripts used ideograms, and if an individual is able to self-think and to self-observe while mentally assembling two or more concepts, then the ancient Chinese words are often obvious of meaning.

When an individual is unable to self-think, unable to self-observe, and unable to assemble two or more concepts, then then individual's translations must fail. Individuals who are not able to self-think, self-observe, and assemble concepts, are dependent on dictionaries. Dictionaries today cannot accurately define any word at all, and dictionaries are far less able to accurately define an ancient foreign word.