A word means whatever you choose to believe it means. Words, and all other symbols, are subjective. At best, we can gather a group of individuals together who might be able to generally agree on a meaning for a definition. Dictionaries, legal codes, and glossaries are attempts to do that.
But when it comes down to it, a word means whatever someone thinks it means when they use it. And that changes dramatically, depending on pretty much every factor you can think of that has to do with relationships to all the different people, places, and other things in life. So it’s crucial to remember that when one person is using a word or other symbol, and that usage causes confusion and/or conflict, the very first thing to do is to ask what definitions people are using for the things they are saying.
Lack of communication, a major factor in most problems in relationships of any kind, can indeed still exist when people are openly and freely speaking to one another. Even if we are listening as intently as possible to one another, and believing with all our heart that we are understanding each others, we might not be speaking about the same things, at all.
This is why I’ve been working on a very simple system for categorizing things, based on math patterns. This way we can at least generally clarify the primary factors of an idea, without needing to speak each others’ personal internal dialect, or even the same language. Being able to cut through all the messiness of nuance, when we really need to for the sake of safety and health, seems like an extremely valuable goal. If anyone else is working on something like this (and I hope they are!), I’d love to hear about it.
I’ll post a more detailed explanation of this categorization process soon. But maybe you can simply figure it out from the diagram…