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Debate Score:14
Total Votes:16
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joecavalry(39743) pic

What is the first order of business for any given language?


I say it is to communicate with as little ambiguity as possible. What say you?

Add New Argument

There are many words in any given language that have more than one meaning and the meaning is derived from context. However, if we change the meaning of a word so that it is no longer as descriptive as it once was, or if the meaning is no longer derived from context, then we are doing language a disfavor. In other words, we shouldn't blur the definitions of words, we should sharpen it. When we come a cross the urge to obfuscate a word, we sould resist the urge and favor coming up with a new word instead.

Side: to be continued
1 point

By your argument, grammar should be invalidated because it is entirely contextual.

The alternate to current English grammar would be something similar to classical Latin where a suffix or prefix will denote the grammatical counterpart in English grammar. Such a system defies English as a mongrel conglomerate of different influences, thus would not be 'English' in the true sense.

Side: Purpose

Oh, I agree 100% that current English is a conglomerate of different influences.

The point I'm trying to make, however, is that language should strive towards articulation, not move away from it.

Side: Purpose
1 point

Although clarity is an ideal of communication of which I'm personally and professionally fond, language and those who use languages do not consciously take this into consideration. Linguists theorize that language develops from isolated dialects. Isolation does not have to be physical or geographical. There are some groups who find that, due to their political isolation, it is better to be ambiguous than precise. For example, there is a dialect of Irish that combines English and Irish and was used to confuse the British authorities. (I can't recall the name of the dialect off-hand.) The dialect had it's own very creative rules that prevented non-indoctrinated listeners from comprehending.

My main point is that sometimes, the words we use are not as important as the context.

Side: Context
1 point

But wait.... that Irish dialect had to unambiguous to them otherwise they wouldn't understand each other.

Side: Context
loisia(10) Disputed Banned
0 points

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Side: Context
1 point

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Side: Context