The Use of Vague Words

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The Use of Vague Words

The use of vague words causes problems with language. Many people involve themselves in using some words that later tend to cause problems. In some cases, one might be vague without knowing while there are those who include the use of vagueness as a form of getting some point across (Scheffler, 2010).

Vagueness and Complex Meanings

Vagueness is identified with creating complex meanings to the mind of the receiver. The use of vagueness in a conversation may create a general idea and leave a receiver with the task of making an inappropriate interpretation. I am a victim of vagueness because it made my brother misinterpreted what I meant. There is this time when one of my younger siblings came to me crying that he had been chased by our neighbor's dog. My brother James was terrified, and he looked scared. When he told me about the same, I advised him to take appropriate measures next time when he sees the dog.

The Consequences of Vagueness

The following day I was surprised to realize that James had poisoned our neighbor's dog and it was lying dead near our fence. When the neighbor came to our place furious I was surprised to hear James defend himself saying that I am the one who advised him to take appropriate measures which he did by killing the dog. However, when I told him to take appropriate measures, I meant he should lock himself inside the house away from the dog's reach. From this kind of experience, I came to realize that it was me to blame for the dog's death because I gave James vague advice instead of being specific by telling him to close the door if he saw the dog. This made me realize how vagueness can cause problems and why is essential to use words correctly.


Scheffler, I. (2010). Beyond the Letter: A Philosophical Inquiry Into Ambiguity, Vagueness and Methaphor in Language. Routledge.

October 30, 2023

Science Sociology


Language Communication

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