Meaning


As meaning is called each of the meanings that a word or expression has as a function of the context in which it appears. The word, as such, comes from the Latin acceptio, acceptanceis, which means ‘action and effect of approving or accepting’. Therefore, in the past, acceptance also means acceptance.

However, the meaning is not always strictly the same. Thus, for example, a word with more than one meaning (polysemic) may have a broader meaning, encompassing different domains, contexts or registers, and whose total meaning is complicated by each of the meanings that make up the word. On the other hand, when the word consists of only one meaning (monosemic), it can be said that the meaning is, in fact, the meaning of the word.

For example, the word “separate” has fifteen meanings that constitute the total meaning of the word, and can be used in various situations: to divide something into parts, to break down or undo, to dismember or distribute, to vehemently get on the way of something, among others. meanings.

A meaning, furthermore, can be literal or figurative. In a literal sense, the word will always express the meaning of the word itself: “The boy broke the leg of the chair.” Whereas, figuratively, the word is used as an image to illustrate a specific situation: “The boy burst out laughing when he saw his friend fall from the chair.”

When we speak, we seek that those who listen to us can understand what we are saying; Therefore, we take care to choose words that we know that person can understand.

Taking into account the idioms of a place or social group is essential for this, because an 80-year-old woman who lives in an old-fashioned and traditional way cannot talk to her as if we were 25 years old. It is essential to look for neutral words that allow the generational approach.

In addition, knowing what meaning is known of a particular word in the region in which we speak can be essential for good communication, especially considering that in countries that share the same language, the uses of words often vary. They differ slightly or flatly, depending on the case.

There are two words that are sometimes confused and used interchangeably, when in fact they can mean absolutely opposite things in some cases; such is the case of acceptance and exception.

The first refers to the different meanings that a word could have. The second, on the other hand, indicates what is excluded from something; in the case of words, it refers to those that do not adhere to the norm and that develop differently. For example: “Although most feminine nouns end in a and masculine in o, there are many exceptions to this spelling rule.”

We could say then that the difference between the two lies in which meaning is closer to acceptance and normality and the exception, to exclusion and abnormality; Therefore, it is essential to take into account the immense difference between these terms to avoid making mistakes when using each one.