• 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)

    Harry Potter- "I couldn't have kept him off the Stone much longer" Darrell- "It's about the form order, am I really so low down as that?" Cynthia- "Then you're not vexed with us, Miss Loy?" East- "That's the fall I got, sir, in the road."

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

    have a Harley type motorcycle which I enjoy riding when the weather is fine at a nice steady pace. I love walking through a forest or along a beach. my job: I used to work in the Building trade, I served my apprentership as a Carpenter but graduated to Clerk of Works.so I am extremely handy around the house.

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

    The simple sentence, "You know what it's like." uses the pronoun to express empathy and an understanding of the audiences situation. However, both Howard and Kennedy use the 3rd person plural pronoun "they" when talking about the public, Howard uses the coordinate clause "but they also want value for money" and Kennedy uses the simple sentence "And they're voting accordingly."

  2. I have chosen to conduct a study into the Turkish community and language as ...

    From this, I'll be able to interview my respondents in a nearby classroom, while simultaneously providing information about the work in sociology done at school. I'm not using complete structured interviews, because as well as following a well-defined and fairly rigid plan; I want to and can have the choice

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