Understanding Words

Very few people understand words. The uneducated man, for instance, may have only a local and limited meaning for a word which brings up dozens of idea to the more educated man. Take a very simple instance. “Food” to a baby means milk or, at the most, two or three articles; “food” to a laboring man has a somewhat broader meaning because he is accustomed to a wider variety than an infant; but “food” to a chef calls up thousands of delicacies prepared in many different ways and as something primarily to prepare rather than something for himself to eat.

– Samuel Crowther, “John H. Patterson: Pioneer in Industrial Welfare”, 1923.

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