The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

How many are many?

Language provides us with words like often, many, much, big, long, etc.

What it doesn’t say, is what these words mean to us.

Make a quick test. The following sentences describe a numerical value, which one would you give to it? Don’t think, go ahead and name a value

  • I have many friends ____
  • He is often late ___
  • She’s young ___
  • He’s working late ___
  • They eat dinner early ___
  • She lives far away from her working place ___

Now that you’ve answered the questions for yourself, what answers would your best friend give? If you don’t know, ask them.

Whatever your answers have been, look at them and how varied even they have been. The meaning of words like often, many, big, long, etc. depends on the context in which they have been used and on your own experience and views.

Misunderstandings happen when we forget that we have to learn how others see the world.


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