"This" vs. "That"

  No doubt, people have been naming things for centuries. They name people, places, and things. Everything seems to get a name, otherwise how could you tell "this" from "that?"
  One of the greater detours along the road toward etymology exploration is "tunnel vision." Or, the constant habit of looking in one direction only because the mind seems temporarily oblivious to anything else. Just because a dog gets the name "Spot," that doesn't mean he is just a "Spot." There has been an age old habit of naming things according to what they mean; according to what they mean for a particular person, or persons! For example, another person might look at Spot and notice how fast he runs. This person might call the same dog by another name. Perhaps "Comet." Eventually one comes to realize that different characteristics of the same object are often  described  "in other words."
  Today one can find a multitude of different names for similar things. There are over a dozen different names for automobiles; Ford, Chevy, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, etc, etc. Most every one has a steering wheel and is built for travel but they all seem to get different names; even though most of the time we call them "car." Twenty different people could look at the Sun and call it by a different name, provided those twenty people speak different languages. So let us ask ourselves then, How did we get so many different languages in the first place? Well, How did we get so many kinds of automobiles? So many brands of toothpaste? So many brands of cereal? Well, somebody gave them a name of course, and so many other people agreed! Common language is then a reflection of commonly accepted words.
  Already we know that people have been naming things for centuries. Already we know that people call the same things by different names. For example, How many different names are there for "God?" Here, terminology reflects the collective words and thoughts common to a particular area of study. Example: Religion, Science, Business, Politics, Medicine, etc.
  After investigating the meanings for words from different languages  I observe a common theme. It appears that "different" languages attribute similar meanings to the same basic "sounds." Though the letters, the characters and even the symbols are subject to change, "the sounds basically remain the same."
  If one follows the history for a particular word (sound) and follows the path back to its original meaning, there one might find a more simple and less complicated image. There one might learn the story of its childhood and better come to understand its parents, it's family, and it's relatives. Modern language today embodies a long lineage of semantic evolution. Moreso, it resembles the genetic information within a living cell and, in that, preserves the history of its earthly sojourn. - E.M.



1.) Development 2.) Alphabet 3.) Sound History  
4.) Language History   5.) A Sense for Sound   6.) "This vs That"
7.) Planning Forecast 8.) Objectives 9.) Home

Page last updated 09/19/11