The old hymn by George Rawson is one of my life long favourites, and the line above came to mind as I was beavering away on an essay today (now taking a break after it's taken 4 hours to get to the point of having 2k words on 'paper' albeit including an hour's planning and a bit of debugging software problems).
I have just finished a short section giving my working definitions for some of the terms in the essay - and deciding not to include a whole load more words that I will simply try to avoid using.
'English as she is spoken' within different academic disciplines coupled with multitudinous variation in everyday English leaves me very aware of the (BIG WORD WARNING) particularity, partiality and contingency of it all. These were words I opted not to define, since I am probably the only person reading my essay who has even a vague clue about how scientists understand 'particularity', that the meaning of 'partiality' as either 'incompleteness' or 'biased towards' would be evident from the context and that 'contingent' seems only to have one dictionary defintion!
Even so, the whole enterprise is crude (rough and ready, not rude or disrespectful) partial (incomplete and biased!) and confined (I may not have a word limit this time but the final version will).
Linguistics, semantics and semiotics (BELATED BIG WORD WARNING!) may be important research fields but they don't really help interdisciplinary communication very much. Word games can be fun, and lots of effort goes into pun-laden witty titles for books, sermons and reports: trouble is that unless you speak the language and know the rules, it goes over your head.
The apostle Paul said he'd rather speak one word of plain speech than a whole lot of stuff in angelic languages (ace paraphrase don't you reckon?) - I wonder if academics and professionals need a 'go and do thou likewise' ? Plain English crystal mark - I wish!
Still, if you have understood any of this it means (a) you understand the insider language of this blog and/or (b) you are incredibly intelligent.
Now 'let a new and better hope within our hearts be stirred: The Lord has yet more light and truth to break forth using words!' (Apologies to Rawson and others)