— 476 —
The Imperfection of Words is the doubtfulness of their Signification.
      §4 The chief End of Language in Communication being to be
understood, Words serve not well for that end, neither in civil, nor
philosophical Discourse, when any Word does not excite in the
— 477 —
Hearer, the same Idea which it stands for in the Mind of the Speaker.
Now since Sounds have no natural connexion with our Ideas, but
have all their signification from the arbitrary imposition of Men, the
doubtfulness and uncertainty of their signification, which is the imper-
fection we here are speaking of, has its cause more in the Ideas they
stand for, than in any incapacity there is in one Sound, more than in
another, to signify any Idea: For in that regard, they are all equally
That then which makes doubtfulness and uncertainty in the
signification of some more than other Words, is the difference of
Ideas they stand for.
Locke Hum III, 9, §4, pp. 476-477