Friday, June 18, 2021


The Mystery of Meaning by Extension

  • "Adherence."  Of two blocks of wood that have been glued together, and also adherence to a creed.
  • "Arousal."  From sleep, or carnal arousal.
  • "Cement."  See "adherence."  The pieces of a plastic model airplane, or a relationship.
  • "Collective."  All things taken together, or a political subset sharing (often unorthodox) views.
  • "Detachment."  An ability to see things from above as it were, with objectivity, but also a military unit carved off for separate assignment.
  • "Fire" (as a gun).  This historical.   There was a time when a match was used to create a fire that set off the gunpowder charge in a cannon.  Now we can say as well that one of the Wallendas was "fired," hydraulically, from a gun in the circus.
  • "Pattern."  A template or a design that repeats itself.  But, by extension, there may not be much commonality in the things that are said to "fit the pattern."  A landing pattern, for example, can scale up radically, but always a downwind leg, followed by a 90 deg turn onto a base leg, followed by a 90 deg turn onto the final approach, which is followed by touchdown.
  • "Unraveling."  What does the unraveling of a tangled rope have in common with the unraveling of a politician caught with his hand in the till, or with both hands on some uninvited body parts?
Our ability to expand the edges implies that meaning is not discrete.

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