• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Are vagueness and ambiguity shortcomings of language that should be avoided in the interest of knowledge, or can they be also viewed as positive aspects of language?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

2. Are vagueness and ambiguity shortcomings of language that should be avoided in the interest of knowledge, or can they be also viewed as positive aspects of language? "How much is too much?" asked the waitress as she began to pour cream into my coffee. "This much" I said while using my fingers to explain the amount. "This much?" she said as she began to stop pouring. I shrugged with content, "More or less." No official amount was ever defined in language, yet somehow it was generally understood. Vagueness is unavoidable in every conversation and in all tongues. However, through other forms of language we can usually discover the point trying to be made. ...read more.

Middle

In Hanunoo, "black", "white," "red", and "green" are the only four color terms. And in Japanese, awo can mean "blue," "green", or "pale." Even Statistics welcomes vagueness into a math based on its precision. When comparing a sample to the population, the term statistically significant has to be used. Statistically significant simply means that based on the sample size and results compared to the population; there is sufficient evidence to conclude that something probably did have an affect on the population. It is intentionally vague because Statistics lacks 100% confidence in everything. Besides in Statistics, vagueness has a home in Literature class. Shakespeare constantly toyed with two characters carrying on a conversation, just vague enough, that both characters are talking about a different topic. ...read more.

Conclusion

It contains too many "what ifs" to ever be restricted by a simple truth table. Sometimes ambiguous statements can be beneficial. Vague statements that appear to have important content often make the speaker seem wise. In fact, all politicians rely on these ambiguous statements in order to make themselves appear good, while not really providing any real specifics for their opponents to argue with. This way, politicians are not lying (the one and only way). Vagueness spurs a conversation of clarification. In which case, the point will definitely be put across. Vagueness and ambiguity need to be avoided whenever something specific is in need. In all other cases, ambiguous statements are welcomed and often encouraged. These statements often keep a conversation alive. I just wish I would have specified with the waitress, she ended up giving me too much cream. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Investigating how language has changed in children's literature; in relation to interaction between ...

    5 star(s)

    As a result, there is not the same status difference, so although Harry has a certain level of respect, it does not prevent interruptions during the conversation. "'they have been extremely worried' 'But sir the Stone -'" "'I arrive just in time to pull Quirrell off you -' 'It was you.'"

  2. Investigation into Gender Differences in the Language of Personal Profiles on Dating Websites

    that there is someone out there who can touch my heart strings. I am looking for a long term relationship with someone who has the same ideals as myself and who is not afraid of taking a chance. I enjoy travelling and being in a warm climate holidays in the

  1. How do Politicians gain support through language? AQA English coursework

    The 1st person personal pronoun "I" is used by all party leaders, for example in Blair's speech, the compound declarative sentence "I acknowledge that and accept it." is used throughout to suggest that he believes he has a personal responsibility towards the public and for the party's actions.

  2. Are vagueness and ambiguity weakness of language that must be eliminated in the interests ...

    Some functions of language are to communicate, to give commands, to be poetic, to express emotion, to refer to things, to order food in a restaurant, to find out where a place is, to argue, and to exchange information. Vagueness is often looked upon as a weakness of language, and often rightfully so.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work