Sunday, February 11, 2007

On Words and Things . . .

Must a name mean something?” Alice asked doubtfully.

“Of course it must,” Humpty Dumpty said with a short laugh: “my name means the shape I am – and a good handsome shape it is, too. With a name like yours, you might be any shape, almost.”

. . .

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, ‘’it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more or less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”

(Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass)

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