Abstract nouns can create a challenge within language. Yourdictionary. com states, “A noun that is abstract is an aspect, concept, idea, experience, state of being, trait, quality, feeling, or other entity that cannot be experienced with the five senses. ” Yet the ability that these types of nouns bring to language is the ability to convey both simplistic and complex ideas. Utilizing the abstract noun beauty, this paper will demonstrate the difference between cognitive and denotative concepts, definitions and detailed examples combined with personal interpretations of this word.
The word beauty, which is abstract, carries an inherent or connotative meaning to each person. Beauty is expressed in actions, attitude, physical characteristics and most importantly priority of values. To a visually impaired person, beauty would be lost and meaningless and as a result, this word must mean something completely different than it would for someone that can see. For example, a visually impaired person may interpret beauty as the touch of gentle hand.
By extension, a hearing impaired person may believe that the swaying of trees or the perfusion of many spring colors as the definition of beautiful. These explanations demonstrate that the concept of beauty is the perceptual experience of something or someone of which it creates joy, happiness, and awesome wonder.
The denotative definition of the word beauty according to Merriam Webster is, “the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit. ” This definition says that beauty is “the experience of pleasure or satisfaction. This could mean an endless number of things around the world as different cultures have different ideas of how beauty is defined and further of what is pleasurable to the senses. This definition grows even more diverse when it is expanded from the level of communities down to individuals. For example, the majority of the United States and many western cultures generally define beauty, especially for women, as the image of youth, thin, blonde, and tan. Commercials use these images to identify their products as either able to contribute to beauty or as an accessory of those who are beautiful.
This message drives individuals to purchase these products in an effort to obtain beauty or be associated with that concept. To further examine at this word, it is beneficial to discuss its synonyms which may help expand the understanding of an abstract noun. Synonyms or words having a similar meaning to the word beauty, depending on how the word is used, could be pretty, sexy, melodic, attractive, and appealing. Conversely the antonyms or words that may mean the complete opposite and have no similarity to beauty could be ugly, hideous, strident, offensive, and monstrous.
From a personal perspective, the word beauty holds a great deal of meaning. While not necessarily representative of what many people might believe to be beautiful, this word convey personal values and behavior more than it shows outside appearances. Therefore, personally simple acts of kindness, smiles, gentle touch, and certainly a generous and loving heart are embodiment of the concept of beauty. This paper has examined what the challenge abstract nouns can create within language, yet they also offer the ability to convey both complex and simplistic ideas.
Examining both the cognitive and denotative concepts of the word beauty and some of the accepted definitions, it appears that there are no absolute answers as to what the word means. Instead this word can mean many things. Martin Buxbaum once said, “some people no matter how old they get, they never lose their beauty- their merely just move it from the face to their heart . ” From a personal perspective, this quote proves that as we live our day-to-day lives, it is the simple acts of kindness, charity, and brotherhood that reflect what is truly beautiful.