Semantics in Specifications for Drugs
Several years ago I had a cousin who worked at the William Alanson White Institute for Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology here in New York. I met several of her friends from work on occasional visits here. When they asked what I did for a living, I replied that I was an analyst. This made me one of the gang, and sometimes I could carry through an entire evening without it being discovered that I was our kind of analyst. Everyone understood what “analyst” meant, but their extensional meaning differed considerably from mine. Each of us has a personal interpretation of words. To communicate we have to arrive at a common understanding of these terms, and failure to do this has led to enormous confusion in the area of drug specifications, our topic here. Usually, the precise meaning of a word becomes clear from its context in a lecture situation, where one talks and another listens. Our problems with semantics are most acute in the give-and-take of committee work.
KeywordsCommon Understanding Blue Tetrazolium Panel Discussion Precise Meaning Committee Work
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