By Jamie Thunder

“When someone says ‘it’s cold,’ you might respond by closing the window,” I tell my students. “But nothing in those words means ‘close the window’ – there’s another layer of meaning introduced by the context.”

I’ve been trying this out on my girlfriend.

“It’s cold,” I say one evening. But although there is a draught, that’s not what I mean. What I mean is that there is something small and dense in the pit of my stomach that makes me wonder whether somewhere along the line we made a terrible mistake.

She looks at me, stands up, and closes the window.

12 thoughts on “Pragmatics

  1. Very fascinating, double meanings. I think we have enough problems with single meanings and just saying what we need to say. It is interesting though.

    Liked by 1 person

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