Are you implying that we are able to capriciously alter any definition with validation, even if it's contrary to the dictionary?
No, i'm explicitly stating that a dictionary only gives a brief overview of the meaning of a word. It does not, should not, and never will perfectly explain everything about a word, such as minor differences between similar words, why one seemingly identical word is used instead of another in some situations, but not others, etc. A dictionary is meant to allow people who do not understand a word to more or less understand it. If you read a dictionary entry, and think there's nothing more to the word, then you're missing the entire point. Edited, Mar 20th 2013 11:43pm by Rachel9
That is utterly false. I'm not sure where you received that nonsense, but the point of a dictionary is to set the standard of the meaning of a word. Else, you are capable of making false definitions. How is one to validate a meaning if you can't use the dictionary as a constant?
What if the definition that you're giving isn't in the dictionary? Does it make it true? Who validates that?
For instance, different intellectual professions like medicine, philosophy and others have technical languages and words that have very specific meanings that are different to how they are used in common vernacular. For instance, when a civilian uses the word shock*, they usually use it in a different way to the very precise and wide-ranging physilogical way that medical staff mean when they use the term shock. Shock to a doctor means that the person is no longer digesting food very well, that their blood has withdrawn to their internal organs away from their limbs and brain, that the patient is in a critical condition. Similar with panic** Panic to a medical professional means that the patient is in a state when they are convinced that their body is dying, and that death is imminent. Any lesser mental state to a mental professional is called anxiety. So if you've just witnessed a horrific car smash that your spouse and children are in, and you think that they have probably just died in front of you? The emotional state you're in right then? It's called anxiety by the medical profession.
* "I was shocked by Obama's new bill" "I got a shock when I saw him recently" "I got a shock from touching the door handle."
** "I panicked when I saw my electricity bill" "When I realised I was lost in the woods, I panicked".
All jargon is defined in specific dictionaries. All of your medical terms may not appear in your common dictionary, but are defined else where. Regardless of how the words are used, the words have specific meanings. As stated before, in casual talk, slightly misusing a word isn't a problem; however, you cannot make arguments based on false definitions.