25 Words

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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In this exercise, I was told to pick any twenty five common words and have five people define them. I chose a variety of words that I thought would provoke different answers from different people. I also tried to ask different types of people who would give me a different answer than everyone else. This is why I chose my mother. I thought that since she is thirty years older than the other four people defining the words. She did give much different answers than everyone else. Her definitions seemed to be longer and were much more generalized than the other people. An example is when she defined the word fast food. She generalized it as food that was prepared quickly and were usually hamburgers. Everyone had something about it being unhealthy or good tasting, which is more detailed and personal than my mom's answer.

There was also something that was different between the males and the females defining certain word that came up.

One of the big ones was defining the word love. While the males that defined it had mostly put some sort of attraction towards another person, the females put more than that. They had things down like an uncontrollable feeling and oneness with another person. This shows how much differently the two different sexes think about love. But something like happiness, all of the people pretty much answered the same. They all said something along the lines of finding joy out of something or being content.

There were a few words that you cold tell showed the opinion of that person on a certain subject. Words like military had a different answer for everybody. There were people who obviously don't like the idea of war calling the military "war mongrels". While there were other people who just thought of it as a protective force of a group of people. Another word like this was work. My mom said that it is something you do to reach a goal or accomplishment. Which is something that I could see a fifty year old woman saying about that, while the younger people didn't seem to answer the same way. They said things like something that you do everyday or a way to make a living. These are good definitions but they look at things in a much more subjective way than an older person with more experience in the real life work would it as.

Everyone has there own way that they see the meanings of words. They are affected by there environment and who teaches them and how they are taught. The different generations of people will continue to change the meanings of words just by how they are used in day to day use, but this is inevitable. Just think how people talked a hundred years ago and if they lived in modern America how funny everone would think that they sounded. Progress equals change.