Although, Richards & Ogden “From the Meaning of Meaning” is at sometimes hard to follow I took away an interesting aspect on how our statements are shaped. The idea that words “mean” nothing by themselves is completely clear but, the reason they are shaped is not so transparent.
Others have posted on how our culture shapes the way a statement or words are thought about and molded. Yet, I wonder if there are disconnects. The simple fact that the way others perceive words and symbols differently will always lead to the inherent issue that there will never be a universal language, deriving my questions. When a “thinker” makes use of words he is deciphering with a previously built upon knowledge, (however right or wrong), how he, more or less interprets, meaning.
This contextual shaping is furthered by Lakoff and Johnson’s “From Metaphors We Live By” which I believe works as a great hand and hand tool with Richards and Ogden’s “From the Meaning of Meaning.” As I understand the phrase, “when we speak, the symbolism we employ is caused partly by the reference we are making and partly by social and psychological factors,” I don’t quite understand the meaning behind the meaning. Words will be constantly shaped due to cultural changes and we will never come up with an accepted explanation for everyone’s thoughts and expressions. So I ask this question, will we ever know the meaning behind the meaning? Or will we be constantly adapting our perceived knowledge through experience, until the end of time?