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We as individuals and as a society grow more able to do things when we state our ideas as clearly as possible. Generally that means stating them in as condensed a form as possible so they can be remembered by the person being spoken to. It is impossible to state anything with absolute clarity because everyone, including the speaker, will mean something different every time he uses a given word. The whole point of conversation is to get something done; it is the flow of conversation which improves the human world. Stating things explicitly will always seem to be in error, but that is just the nature of language so it is important to state things as clearly as possible, so that the other person can respond. They will of course be in error, because other people are always are in error, but their speech offers you the chance to correct what they said. This of course is turtles all the way down and you will never come to the end of these types of corrections. Except, and this is the point of this wandering, except when it comes to physical action.

When we make a physical action it takes place in the real world, and it can not be taken back, except by taking another physical action. And that may not be possible. In any case an action was performed, an action in response to which the other person may take physical action, which might be called a reaction. That is another form of conversation, a physical conversation, and communication can take place, just as  much as it can take place with words. The difference being the reality of the action.

We can talk all day about what a cup is or isn’t, and a saucer can slowly morph in our argument from a nearly flat surface to a long thin pipe closed at one end. Somewhere in the middle of this curved idea is an object which all English speakers would agree is a cup. Even a large perfectly flat surface will hold a cup of water, as will a long enough tube. So, even a physical argument doesn’t bring about a final definition.

At the dinner table I might ask you to pass the salt and pepper, and if you pass them to me I would say “Thank you.” This appears to be a perfect human communication. Or is it? In the physical sense it completed the transaction I wanted to take place. But, what is salt, or pepper, or pass, or what is the time frame for these transactions to take place? And, what if we were football players sitting at dinner, would asking John Elway to pass the salt and pepper bring about some flying missiles? All conversation requires a give and take to get the results we want.

Say what you mean as explicitly as possible, and expect a dialog.

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