Vagueness Research Paper

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Vagueness When a definition is vague it has no specific meaning for the intended audience. Happiness is a continuation of happenings which are not resisted. To think is to practice brain chemistry. A person is a pattern of behavior, of a larger awareness. Notice that none of these definitions give us any clarity as to what the defined term actually means. If you were an outer-space alien and asked for a definition of "happiness", "thinking", and a "person", your knowledge would not in anyway be improved over your current position of ignorance. Vagueness can apply to both individual words like "happenings" as well as to entire phrases, e.g., "a larger awareness” This is also a favourite technique of advertisers. How many times do…show more content…
For example: I tackled the thief with my pyjamas on. We could interpret this as meaning the thief was wearing my pyjamas or that I was wearing pyjamas when I tackled the thief. Ambiguous words or statements lead to vagueness and confusion, and shape the basis for instances of unintentional humor. For instance, it is ambiguous to say “I rode a black horse in red pajamas,” because it may lead us to think the horse was wearing red pajamas. The sentence becomes clear when it is restructured “Wearing red pajamas, I rode a black horse.” Similarly, same words with different meanings can cause ambiguity e.g. “John took off his trousers by the bank.” It is funny if we confuse one meaning of “bank” which is a building, to another meaning, being “an edge of a river”. Context usually resolves any ambiguity in such cases. Below are some common examples of ambiguity: 1. A good life depends on a liver. – Liver may be an organ or simply a living person. 2. Foreigners are hunting dogs. – It is unclear whether dogs were being hunted or foreigners are being spoken of as dogs. 3. Each of us saw her duck. – It is not clear whether the word “duck” refers to an action of ducking or a duck that is a
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