One Word; Many Meanings


One Word; Many Meanings In It's All in a Word, British linguist Vivian Cook reminds us that the true measure of our vocabulary is not so much our command of words as our command of their innumerable meanings. Take "mean" itself, which, among other things, can refer to signification (I don't know what you mean by that remark), intent (I mean to have dinner tonight), a consequence (This means trouble), unkindness (The children were mean to one another), avarice (Ebenezer Scrooge was mean with his money), lowliness (From mean beginnings, she rose high in her profession), excellence (He was a mean [...]