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If language is so ambiguous, emotionally laden, relative, personal and collective, how far can it be trusted in conveying knowledge?

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Introduction

If language is so ambiguous, emotionally laden, relative, personal and collective, how far can it be trusted in conveying knowledge? Language is ambiguous. Language is emotionally laden. It is relative, personal and collective and yet I strongly believe it can - to an extent - be trusted in conveying knowledge. However, I need to use a few examples to support my thesis that yes it can be trusted, but also that there is a line that has to be drawn where language can not be trusted. When your mother tells you not to lie, otherwise you'll grow a long nose like Pinocchio, you will know that lying is a bad thing. However, one will not just grow a long nose after having told a lie; however, the aim of what was to be brought across has been achieved although strictly speaking a lie had been told in the first place. ...read more.

Middle

Now in the Caribbean it could be just as grey, but I think it is safe to say that somewhere in the world the sky will not be awfully grey. Can that person be trusted? It depends on whether you are where he or she is or you are in the Caribbean, although when you are in the Caribbean and he or she tells you over the phone that it is grey where the caller is, you can trust him - again depending on whether that person can be trusted or not; and this is my last, and most important point. Very often one needs to make a judgement of whether to trust somebody or not in order to be able to trust the language that conveys his or her knowledge. ...read more.

Conclusion

to achieve this he may be inclined to lie about the actual size of the buffalo on his patch of land, and it is thus hard to trust him. If however the professional hunter, the guide of the Western hunter tells him that he knows where to find a very good buffalo it is easier to trust him, because if he lied the hunter would be rather irritated by the guide and the guide would not have much reason to want to achieve this, for his reputation ultimately determines his welfare. To sum up, it is always a matter of being able to judge the person speaking to be able to trust his or her language, and as stated above I think in most cases language can be trusted, however emotionally laden, relative, ambiguous and personal it is. ...read more.

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