Words are symbols of concepts. They act as the means of making concepts into mental concretes. They allow the storage of a conceptual integration that can be recalled on demand. Words are references to a concept. They are mental entities which trigger the contents of the concept. By making the concepts into concretes that can be easily maintained and used, we are able to use concepts as particulars, allowing further integration.

Words in themselves are meaningless and mostly arbitrary. They are auditory or visual symbols of concepts, which contains the meaning. A definition applies to a concept, not a word. A word is a name given to a concept. It isn't the concept itself. A word is only meaningful if it has a concept, which in turn, has a definition. Without these, a word is just a noise.

The primary use of a word is in concept building. Additionally it can be used for communication. This purpose is secondary, though. Communication requires clarity and understanding. Before communication can occur, concepts must be formed. Concepts are not only required for communication, though. They are used to acquire knowledge, and to use it to act purposefully. This is the primary purpose of words.

Copyright 2001 by Jeff Landauer and Joseph Rowlands