"Wisdom begins with the definition of terms."
Socrates (470 B.C. - 399 B.C.)
"Misunderstood" or "Not-understood" are used to describe any troubles with understanding words, symbols, etc. There can be a lack of understanding of a word, concept, or symbol. Most people think of a misunderstood as something they don't know - a "not-understood." A "not-understood" is a misunderstood but there is more to it. It is fully described in the 10 categories below.
A Misunderstood Word or Symbol (MU) can be:
1. A false definition:
This is where a person has a definition that has no relationship to the actual meaning of
2. An invented definition: An
invented definition is a type of a false definition. The person made it up
himself or he was given somebody else's idea. This can be difficult to find as
he is certain he knows it - after all he invented it himself. But usually it
does read on a Meter.
3. An incorrect definition: This
is a definition that is not right but may have something to do with the word or
4. An incomplete definition:
A definition that is neither precise enough or insufficient.
5. An unsuitable definition:
A definition that by itself is correct, but does not fit in the context it is used.
It causes the student not to be able to understand the sentence correctly.
6. A homonymic definition:
One word that has two or more clearly different meanings. A homonym can also be
two (or more) words that sound the same ("piece" and "peace"
for example). This can cause the student not to understand the text.
7. A Substitute Definition:
A substitute definition occurs when a person uses a synonym for the definition
of a word. A synonym is not a definition. A synonym is a word having a meaning
similar to that of another word.
8. An omitted (missing) definition: An
omitted definition is a definition of a word that the person is missing; it can
be omitted from the dictionary he is using. In other words, the word is used in
a meaning the student doesn't know, but he thinks he does. This can often have
to do with slang or humor.
9. A No-definition:
A no-definition is a "not-understood" word or symbol.
10. A rejected definition: A
rejected definition is a definition of a word which the person will not accept.
This can be based on emotional reactions to it. The person finds the definition
degrading to himself or his group, etc. He may have a total misunderstood on the
word and still refuse to have it explained or look it up in a dictionary.
Any word that fits one or more of the above descriptions must be cleared up as it is an MU. Use a good sized dictionary or more than one dictionary, text book, or encyclopedia. It is harmful to go on past or ignore a misunderstood word or symbol as one simply will not understand what one is studying. It is a matter self-discipline to not go past misunderstood words. Recognition the symptoms of so doing is easy to learn. One of the worst symptoms is the mental blankness that usually follows right after a misunderstood word. Look up the symbols or words and get them fully defined before going on with the reading. Students must understand it takes a self-discipline that has to learned. The different types of "misunderstoods" and "not-understoods" must be clearly grasped by a person seeking to clear them in himself and others. The most common error in Word Clearing is for the person being Word Cleared to believe that a misunderstood is something he simply does not know. With this limited definition he cannot effectively be Word Cleared nor should he Word Clear others. So these definitions of "misunderstood" and "not-understood" should be very well known, as it will often be necessary to have to clarify them with the person being Word Cleared.
It has become all too obvious that a misunderstood word remains misunderstood and will later hang a person up unless he clears the meaning of the word in the context in which it is found. The MU's also have to be cleared in all of their various meanings in general usage. When a word have several different definitions one cannot limit his understanding of the word to one definition only and call the word "understood." One must be able to understand the word when, at a later date, it is used in a different way. Otherwise he will use the wrong definition when running into it later.
To clear a word one looks it up in a good dictionary. Dictionaries recommended are The World Book Dictionary (2 volumes); also a large Oxford Dictionary.
A good dictionary should use simpler
words to explain more difficult words. It should have the origin or
derivation of the word. It shouldn't use synonyms to define the meaning of a word
with, but actually define the word by description. You should be able to
complete the steps below easily with such a dictionary.
1) The Definition that applies: The first step is to look over the definitions to find the one that applies to the context in which the word was found. One reads the definition and uses it in sentences until one has a clear concept of that meaning of the word. This can take many sentences.
2) Other Definitions: One then clears each of the other definitions of that word, using each in sentences until one has a conceptual understanding of each definition.
3) Derivation: The next thing to do is to clear the derivation - that is the explanation of where the word came from originally. This will help gain a basic understanding of the word.
4) Don't clear the technical or specialized definitions (math, biology, etc.) or obsolete (no longer used) or archaic (ancient and no longer in general use) definitions unless the word is being used that way in the context in which it was misunderstood.
5) Clear Idioms. Most dictionaries give the idioms of a word. An idiom is a phrase or expression whose meaning cannot be understood from the ordinary meanings of the words. For example, "give in" is an English idiom meaning "yield." Quite a few words in English have idiomatic uses and these are usually given in a dictionary after the definitions of the word itself. These idioms have to be cleared.
6) Clear synonyms. One must also clear any other information given about the word, such as notes on its usage, synonyms, etc. so as to have a full understanding of the word. If one runs into a misunderstood word or symbol in the definition of a word being cleared, one must clear it right away using this same procedure and then return to the definition one was clearing (dictionary symbols and abbreviations are usually given in the front of the dictionary).
List of Words
The Word Fully Cleared