— 493 —
Thirdly, Affected Obscurity by wrong Application.
      §6. Thirdly, Another abuse of Language is, an affected Obscurity,
by either applying old Words, to new and unusual Significations; or
introducing new and ambiguous Terms, without defining either;
or else putting them so together, as may confound their ordinary
meaning. Though the Peripatetick Philosophy has been most
eminent in this way, yet other Sects have not been wholly clear of
it. There is scarce any of them that are not cumbred with some
Difficulties, (such is the imperfection of Humane Knowledge,)
which they have been fain to cover with Obscurity of Terms, and
to confound the Signification of Words, which, like a Mist before
Peoples Eyes, might hinder their weak parts from being discovered.
That Body and Extension, in common use, stand for two distinct
Ideas, is plain to any one that will but reflect a little. For were their
Signification precisely the same, it would be as proper, and as
intelligible to say, the Body of an Extension, as the Extension of a Body;
and yet there are those who find it necessary to confound their
signification. To this abuse, and the mischiefs of confounding the
— 494 —
Signification of Words, Logick, and the liberal Sciences, as they
have been handled in the Schools, have given Reputation; and the
admired Art of Disputing, hath added much to the natural imper-
fection of Languages, whilst it has been made use of, and fitted,
to perplex the signification of Words, more than to discover the
Knowledge and Truth of Things: And he that will look into that
sort of learned Writings, will find the Words there much more
obscure, uncertain, and undetermined in their Meaning, than they
are in ordinary Conversation.
Locke Hum III, 10, §6, pp. 493-494