What Do Words Really Mean?

What do words mean? Well, the answer is obvious, isn’t it? We use words every day, all day long, and other people understand us, right? So, words mean what we think they mean. You can look in any dictionary to see what they mean.

But that’s not all there is to it. Words mean so much more than the dictionary definition. There are shades of meaning. There are emotional meanings. There are associations that every hearer will have based on their own experience. And it’s these additional meanings that songwriters and poets use to communicate things that are hard to say.

I want to know what you mean

Listeners are not mind readers. If you tell me your favorite color is blue, I don’t know what shade of blue you’re thinking of. Maybe you love royal blue but hate turquoise blue. You know what color you’re visualizing when you say “blue” but I don’t. So, what does the word “blue” really mean, then? I’ll understand you better if you tell me more about what shade of blue is in your mind.  Continue reading “What Do Words Really Mean?”