To say that a word has meaning is to say that it has purpose. The purpose may be to signify is, to refer to an object or person other than the writer, to an abstract conception such as "democracy," or to a thought or feeling in the writer's mind. On the other hand, the purpose may be to induce a particular response in the readers' minds or to establish an appropriate relationship between the writer and those readers. We shall consider each of these three uses of of meaning, we shall call them.
Before we do that, however, we need to glance at several misconceptions about words and also at two aspects of meaning fundamental to all the purposes for which words may be used. These aspects concern denotative and connotative meaning and the various levels of usage.
First the misconceptions.
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