The concept of the day is “Complex Equivalence”. An individual’s cognitive map or sensory representation of a particular word, label or expression; or possibly better said, the meaning the individual assigns to an abstract form of words. A different experience that has the same meaning (equivalent) as the experience they are considering.
Misunderstanding and miscommunication occur when two individuals each assign different meanings to a word or phrase and then act as if they were describing the same experience.
Think of political descriptive labels as a good example of this. The definitions of a “Liberal” or a “Conservative” are entirely different for those who identify themselves as either, than it is for those who do not. Each sees their point of view as admirable and obviously as a better way of thinking. And each sees the other as an opponent, often using the description as if it was a well defined epithet, one that we all agree to the meaning of.
It’s an attempt to reframe the meaning of a word by using it repeatedly, as shorthand, to redefine the word.
It begins to feel like the only way to correctly understand the perceived meaning of a word or phrase is by taking a poll. But even then, you end up with differences of prevalent definition according to whether the poll respondent lives in a “Red State” or a “Blue State”.
But, words mean things. With the presence of 24 hour media, ubiquitous beyond what most would ever have believed possible a generation ago, we have to guard against revisionists.
I used to be very politically minded. But seeing the same tactics used by both sides to whatever advantage they sought at the time, I grew weary of it all. Talking heads on TV sound like broken parrots, repeating the same things, like mantra.
Say it loud and often enough and it’s true, right?