I wrote a humorous article regarding a semantics class I took with a friend in 1972. The subject word for my story was junk. I gave examples of associated words our teacher used for junk, with stuff, items, things, and crap heading up the list. I’m still chuckling because my Microsoft Word program flagged that last one as being potentially offensive.
To mechanics like myself and others, crap can equate to the rusty, oily junk floating around in antifreeze and other liquids. The words crud and gunk have similar meaning. I suppose to a bean counter, it could represent something entirely different.
Evidently this word’s now accepted in the medical community, because a Navage commercial on television called mucus in someone’s nose exactly that. Personally, I find abortion offensive yet Microsoft Word must not.
Semantics include more than single word interpretations. Phrases, sentences, and text have areas where semantics enter the picture. Two phrases used by semantics teachers for demonstration purposes are: last stop and final destination. They can mean the same thing, yet also have totally different interpretation for various people.
When my wife and I relocated to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, we figured this would be our last stop after a multitude of moves. Some towns and cities that Joleen and I lived in over a period of 68 years, in alphabetical order, without naming states are:
Adelanto, Alma, Anchorage, Chapman, Dunlap, Emporia, Grinnell, Kingsdown, Lake Havasu City, Longford, Lubbock, Pensacola Beach, Salina, San Antonio, Selma, Vernon, and Victorville.
That amounts to 17 moves amongst us both. Those locations were merely destinations at one point in time.
It’s looking more and more as if Kingman, Arizona will be added as #18 to our list for a final stop, at least where travel in this life is concerned. We’re tired of moving, believing we’ll have just enough energy for one more. Kingman won’t be our final destination though.
Joleen and I aren’t pushing things to get to #19, but we’re ready at the same time. Something tells me that semantics won’t be needed up there!