Working on the "Reason for speaking in parables" pericope tonight has reiterated for me a realization I made a long time ago:
Words have uses, not meanings.
|From The Reason for Speaking in Parables|
...ὅτι βλέποντες οὐ βλέπουσιν
καὶ ἀκούοντες οὐκ ἀκούουσιν οὐδὲ συνίουσιν,
...ἵνα βλέποντες βλέπωσιν καὶ μὴ ἴδωσιν,
καὶ ἀκούοντες ἀκούωσιν καὶ μὴ συνιῶσιν,
...ἵνα βλέποντες μὴ βλέπωσιν
καὶ ἀκούοντες μὴ συνιῶσιν.
...that seeing they do not perceive
and hearing they do not listen,
...in order that looking they may indeed see, but not perceive,
and that listening they may indeed hear, but not understand,
...so that looking they may not perceive,
and listening they may not understand.
Words have uses, not meanings. I can easily say:
"That's well and good that you're listening, but can you really hear what I'm saying?"
"I know he heard me, but was he listening to me?"
In either case, my point is clear. It is the usage that conveys the meaning, not any inherent denotation.
Just good to remind myself.