Tuesday, March 03, 2009


"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."
Lewis Carroll's words (from Through the Looking Glass) sprung to mind as I read Slater's response, in this month's The Reasoner, to my reply to his response to my "Liars, Divine Liars, and Semantics." (Basically, when I say something to you I could mispronounce what I meant to say, and you could mishear it, and so the truth of what I actually say must be, as a rule, independent of what you or I happen to think I said.) Equally trivially, Thursday's afternoon play on Radio 4 is The State of the Art, and on Friday the Manhatter's teaparty hits the big screen.