2

CHAPTER TWO

WAYS OF MEANING

Sometimes we mean what we say. Suppose I look intensely at a painting. Then I remark, “The colors are very bright.” What I have said may be literally true. Perhaps I have made this comment because the colors really are very bright. But what I say may not always be what I actually mean. This is because when I say, “The colors are very bright,” I might state this in a sarcastic way. Sarcasm changes the meaning of what I have said. The sarcasm in my voice indicates that what I really mean is that the colors are dull. And in saying that the colors are dull, I may be implying that I don’t approve of, or don’t like, paintings like this. If I am being sarcastic, then I am literally saying one thing while meaning another. ...

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