Text & Context
“To know an object is to lead to it through a context which the world provides…”
– William James
“So much of design is context…”
– Steve Madden
Text has a connotation but its interpretation is based on context. Hence if the meaning is distorted, it said to be out of context. Though the writer makes the composition, the reader breaks the interpretation. In literature, language is the vehicle. It all depends on how the writer uses the language like the driver uses the vehicle. The style of writing for any writer is judged by the usage mechanism of the language. Though English is the most widely used language, literature is not bounded by the rules of any language. In fact local language has been the bedrock of literary masterpiece. It has been translated into multiple languages and English being the preferred and predominates. In the journey of translation, the real challenge is in the hands of translator is not the exact text but the extent of context.
Just like literature in communication also context makes or mars the text. What you say is view but what others derive out of it is news. People have limited interest in your views but get excited on what news it makes. Hence many times the communicator looses track on the message and gets trapped in the broadcaster’s interpretation. It is little different here. The context is eclipsed in the text. The news is the driver rather than the views. The views are put out of context to make it interesting and exciting. Yes, the choice of words play critical role. By using different text for instance being ‘aggressive’ and being ‘assertive’ you may convey the same context, provided the context is properly understood. Science of communication is in the text but the art of communication is in the context.
Text is the content and context is the place. Content of a vacation remaining same, the place of vacation determines the quantum of gratification. A visit to a beautiful place is not the same story as to your own home town though you might have spent the same time and money. It is the place. The reverse logic applies to content. If the context of vacation is simply a planned break or a much needed breakout of daily drudgery or a celebration for a breakthrough achievement, it all counts and makes the difference. The context makes the vacation contextual in putting it in its purposeful place. A breakthrough achievement can make any place contextual but a real break from office or city life makes a place closer to nature and tranquil more textual. Content without context is a house without the household, there is no identity of a house without the dwellers in the house.
We use context in our text to maneuver our thought into appropriate action. How we articulate our thoughts into sentences, is a creative art. Things are immaterial in this context. This is very important in that context. It will be inappropriate in another context. This is absolutely irrelevant in today’s context. It will be irrevocable under the given context. It has a powerful significance in the historical context. This will be highly controversial in this misplaced context. The same thing can be meaningful in one context and can be meaningless in other context. Text can be meaningless without context. But context definitely add meaning to text.
Data is the new language in today’s world. Data decides and determines the course of growth of companies, countries and societies at large. Data has grown big and it is now called as big data. Communication without data is like the body without the soul. Data per se is voiceless without the interpretation. Context is the key to tuning the data into insights. It is this context that provides the ingredient for interpretation. Data interpretation is one of most powerful tool we use to make and enhance our daily decisions. Every decision of ours and day in and day out, it is the context which is critical to our thought and action.
In law context matter, the case is registered in the text but it is context that revolves around the case study. It gets dissected and decided in the context of the scene and sign. Symbols are significant language of communication between communities and between ages. Symbols take the form of textual words or visual images and are used to convey ideas and construct beliefs. So are colours, red reflects aggression and passion. White represents peace and harmony. Colour as such is colourless in meaning without the contextualization of the text of the colour. Signs and symbols are in rhyme with the text and the context in the tone and tenor of the language of communication.