"Every word which we use has a meaning to us, which guides us in our use of it. The more common the word, the more associations we have with it, and the more deeply rooted is its meaning. Therefore, when someone gives a definition for a common word in the hopes that we will abide by that definition, it is a foregone conclusion that we will not do so but will instead be guided, largely unconsciously, by what our minds find in their associative stores. I mention this because it is the sort of problem which Euclid created in his Elements, by attempting to give definitions of ordinary, common words such as "point", "straight line", "circle", and so forth. How can you define something of which everyone already has a clear concept? The only way is if you can make it clear that your word is supposed to be a technical term, and it is not to be confused with the everyday word with the same spelling. You have to stress that the connection with the everyday word is only suggestive. Well, Euclid did not do this, because he felt that the points and lines of his Elements were indeed the points and lines of the real world. So by not making sure that all associations were dispelled, Euclid was inviting readers to let their powers of association run free..."


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