Friday, September 9, 2011

Define a good definition

Here is a paper I turned in today.

Lexical Definition: A statement of the meaning of a word or word group or a sign or symbol.

⦁What a definition is not. It is not a repetitive statement that repeats itself to the point of repetition.

It should not be too negative and point out only what it’s not.

It should not use the word that is being described.

It should not describe the word in terms that no one can understand.

⦁A good definition: Strait to the point.

It should give synonyms of the word being described.

It should cover only what needs to be covered to make it clear.

How definitions are viewed in scripture 1 Corinthian 14:20 Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.

We are told here in 1 Corinthians that we need to think maturely and not blow off the responsibility. We are to make ourselves clear and not speak in riddles. State what needs to be known and not what doesn’t.

The importance of a good definition Pretty much everyone looks at a word differently. If I say “target” you might think of a shooting range while I’m thinking of a store with overpriced clothes. If this misunderstanding isn’t cleared up, who knows where the conversation will end up? A clear meaning of a word is important so that confusion can be cut to a minimum and costly mistakes can be avoided.

Conclusion A definition is worth taking the time to understand.

Josh Martin