Bert de Haan
b_dehaan at sympatico.ca
Tue Mar 20 05:36:58 EDT 2007
Thank you George.
Like I tried to indicate earlier; It is not that I agree with Hoogland. All
I was trying to do is bring his view into the discussion so that I and
others may learn from the interaction.
The examples you provide have accomplished that (at least for me.)
Bert de Haan.
>From: George F Somsel <gfsomsel at yahoo.com>
>To: Bert de Haan <b_dehaan at sympatico.ca>, b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
>Subject: Re: [B-Greek] APOLUTRWSIS
>Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 20:25:33 -0700 (PDT)
>I would no more agree that words have intrinsic meaning than that they have
>innate meaning. I don't see more than about ?? worth of meaning between
>If I were to say "My room is a shambles" what would you think I meant? In
>the AV of 1 Cor 10.25 I read "Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat,
>asking no question for conscience sake:" He was discussing meat which had
>been offered to idols and told his readers to buy anything sold in the meat
>market without asking questions about its origin. If I were to say "My
>room is a shambles", however, you would not be likely to think I was
>calling it a meat market but rather a mess.
>If I say "I let him do that" then you would most likely think that I meant
>that I allowed him to do it (a correct conclusion). In 2 Thess 2.7 (again,
>the AV) we read "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who
>now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way." Here the meaning
>of "to let" is not "to allow" but precisely the opposite -- "to hinder."
>Today we are all acquainted with the term "gay" as a term used of
>homosexuals. A 1939 piece of literature called _Gadsby_ has the following
>Now this Council?s visit on this particular day, was a sly plan of
>Gadsby?s, for His Honor is, you know, Youth?s Champion, and having known
>many an occasion on which Youth has won out against Council opposition. So,
>our big City officials, strolling around that park, soon saw a smooth lawn
>upon which sat, stood, or ran, almost a thousand small tots of from four to
>six. In dainty, flimsy outfits, many carrying fairy wands, it was a sight
>so charming as to thaw out a brass idol! Amidst this happy party stood a
>tall shaft, or mast, having hanging from its top a thick bunch of long
>ribbons, of pink, lilac, gray, and similar dainty colors; and around it
>stood thirty tots? thirty tiny fists all agog to grasp thirty gay ribbons.
>Old Bill took a look, and said, growlingly, to His Honor:?
>What are "gay ribbons"? Brightly colored ribbons. There is even a website
>"Gaygardener" which I looked at and saw nothing relating to homosexuality.
>I'm sure it has to do with brightly colored flowers. There is also a line
>in one of the songs in George Gershwin's opera _Porgy and Bess" which goes
>"Today I'm gay and I'm free. Just a bubbl'n nothin' troublin me" which
>refers to being happy and carefree.
>So then, what is the "intrinsic" or "innate" meaning of these words? There
>is none. Words mean what you make them to mean. There is a convention by
>which certain words in certain contexts at a certain time in history have a
>particular significance BY CONVENTION.
>----- Original Message ----
>From: Bert de Haan <b_dehaan at sympatico.ca>
>To: gfsomsel at yahoo.com; b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
>Sent: Monday, March 19, 2007 10:43:10 PM
>Subject: Re: [B-Greek] APOLUTRWSIS
>I was not saying one way or the other. I was just quoting what I thought
>Jan Hoogland wrote about it.
>Maybe I made a mistake by equating innate meaning with intrinsic meaning.
>These two words might not be exact synonyms but it appears that in this
>context they stand for the same thing. (Or maybe Humpty Dumpty meant
>something else than I what think he meant:))
>I am not able to give the innate meaning of shambles, gay or to let, but I
>would be interested in hearing Jan Hoogland's answer to that question.
>Bert de Haan.
> >From: George F Somsel <gfsomsel at yahoo.com>
> >To: Bert de Haan <b_dehaan at sympatico.ca>, b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> >Subject: Re: [B-Greek] APOLUTRWSIS
> >Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 18:47:34 -0700 (PDT)
> >I don't think you understand the meaning of "innate." What you are
> >referencing in no way shows that there are innate meanings to words. If
> >you think that there are innate meanings to words, then answer the
> >following: What is the "innate" meaning of "shambles"? What is the
> >"innate" meaning of "gay"? What is the "innate" meaning of "to let"?
> >----- Original Message ----
> >From: Bert de Haan <b_dehaan at sympatico.ca>
> >To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> >Sent: Monday, March 19, 2007 9:22:56 PM
> >Subject: Re: [B-Greek] APOLUTRWSIS
> >"Barry" <nebarry at verizon.net> wrote:
> > >Shall we follow Plato or Aristotle here? "Innate" and "elephant" are
> > >in English with quite restricted semantic ranges, so that your example
> > >really
> > >doesn't relate. Would you care to tell me what the innate meanings of
> > >words
> > >"run" and "scan" are in English? I am supplying English examples
> > >it
> > >makes the point better for us native English (or American) speakers
> > >Greek,
> > >for which it is very difficult for modern students to "feel" the
> > >range
> > >of the word in the same way an ancient would have.
> > >
> > >
> >A while back Jan Hoogland <hoogland at hawaii.rr.com> offered an article
> >review and comments on B-Greek that deals with this topic quite a bit.
> >I have not finished it yet but I remembered that he used the example
> >to demonstrate that words do have intrinsic meanings. Here is a quote:
> >" Compare, for example, the meaning of the word run in the sentences he
> >a business and he runs a stop sign. The occurrences of the word run in
> >sentences differ in meaning, the difference being induced by the context
> >rather than being inherent in the word run itself. Inherent in the word
> >in both contexts is only the idea of moving well.<....snip.....>How can
> >manage by assigning only a single intrinsic meaning to the word run? It
> >possible by noticing that run in itself only generates in the mind a
> >of moving well. A check on all thirty specific dictionary meanings of the
> >verb run reveals that indeed every entry has something to do with moving
> >well, some may be farfetched or abstract, but the connection is
> >in all cases. The context then adds further meaning to the point where we
> >arrive at each specific use of run. Note that the context can only add
> >meaning to the intrinsic meaning of run, but does not and cannot provide
> >intrinsic meaning itself. This process of assembling the intended meaning
> >a sentence is one of addition rather than one of elimination, as the
> >of multiple meanings of a word requires. The clarity of meaning of a
> >sentence obtained in this way is quite surprising, considering such a
> >variety in usage. The clarity is a consequence of adhering to a single
> >intrinsic meaning of a word.<...snip...>An example may show how the mind
> >builds up the meaning of a sentence. By slowly reading the sentence: He
> >the car into the ditch, it will be noticed that ran by itself indicates
> >more than that something is moving well. No appeal by the mind is being
> >to the specific meanings of run, only a curiosity is present as to how
> >sentence is going to proceed. The mention of the car adds considerable
> >meaning, but again it does not start an elimination process of the
> >specific meanings of run or car; it only adds further meaning to the
> >developing sentence. The addition of into and the ditch completes the
> >meaning of the sentence and establishes a specific use of ran, which in
> >case is driving an automobile too fast.
> >As the verb run has thirty specific meanings, car three, into six and
> >one, we are faced with 540 combinations of meaning from which we have to
> >somehow select the intended combination. Experience shows that anybody
> >understands the intended meaning instantly and without fail, indicating
> >the process is additive, single meaning by single meaning. This proves
> >the thirty different specific meanings are not independent meanings but
> >thirty different uses of a single intrinsic meaning. Note that when ran
> >replaced by xxx, the intrinsic meaning of ran cannot be retrieved by the
> >context, as it could stand for crashed, tumbled, flew, etc. The
> >of a single intrinsic meaning to a word is fundamental to the concept of
> >word meaning and the differentiation between intrinsic meaning and usage
> >will prove to be essential."
> >(Maybe this will whet the apatite for the rest of the article.)
> >Bert de Haan.
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