Words have usage, not inherent meaning; meaning is derived from a context by which phonemes are put together from systems of inflection, i.e., in how they are used morphologically and syntagmatically by the design of each author/speaker, and this creates a lexemic field to/for the receptor/hearer. Continue reading
The etymological, diachronic, and synchronic use of a word does shape, to a degree, a semantic domain field for analysis, but none of this should be thought of as inherent meaning, for each word is always subject to the arbitrary nature of its user. In this sense, meaning should be thought of as a contextually driven extension of word usage. So, words, in and of themselves, are meaningless, i.e., without the linguistic and non-linguistic elements.
~michael w. jones