Fear of Names

Don’t let your fear of hollow words give you a fear of names.

Deep respect for a thing (/idea/sensation/behavior/attitude/etc.), and distaste for hollow talk in general, can make you wary of naming it, because the more convenient the name, the more easily it can get caught up in hollow talk about it and distracting noise about the thing. But names are handles, they let you work upon the thing, manipulate it: think about it and fit it into its relations with other things. The name facilitates important work, both negative and positive, upon the thing: negative — finding the flaws and incoherencies and disadvantages of the thing when all its consequences and alternatives are considered; positive — understanding yourself, the value of your things, what you can build from them. Perhaps especially for things that are dear to you it is essential to do this in order to expand your world, or else you will stagnate in a constricting world of so few things, neither leaving them aside when they are no longer good for you nor using them to create and reach new things

So go ahead and taxonomize, and circumspectly trust your ability to carry the whole meaning of the thing when you grasp its handle, trust that you can preserve the meaning in your use of the name.


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