FilmSnob wrote:By that logic, all words are useless.
Welcome, both of you, to the world of common human understanding.
We are currently unable to effectively point out empirical things to each other unless we are face to face, so we use generalizing abstractions. Don't like it?
Stop using words.
Words mean what you want them to mean. Go out into your yard and see what you observe. Do you apply names to them? I do. I was even taught how to apply words and I was taught with particular ones, like this particular pen besides me. I was taught to point at things, and applied a word that became a sign for that particular thing I experienced which is not signified by that sign (i.e. word). We are taught language and learn to use it in a group, and we speak extremely well with one another. You just have to be careful on the words that you take to be actual things. Let me give you one example. In the english language we turn adjectives into nouns. Take these two sentences, which make sense in English: (1) A horse gallops and (2) a horse has a good gallop. The second one says that a horse possesses a gallop like it posses horse shoes. It is a complete abstraction in that sense, and we next come to think it exists because it is so useful to talk that way. Just because talking a certain way is easier does not mean that those words signify anything sensible or in experience. We have a world of common language and our language is infected with some abstract terms that we take to signify existing things just because it is part of our common language. And I did not say that we do not generalize, but when you talk about humans, do you not think of a particular one that is, say, male and while, a certain height and certain weight, and maybe a certain hair color and color of eyes? I do, but these abstractions have none of that stuff. We do notice some similarities, but those are particular things while "human" or gallop are abstractions that have nothing particular.
The problem is not about stop using words, its about using words properly and not getting caught up in language where you take certain words to signify something that actually exists, while just an abstract idea.