William Flowers Posted over 2 years ago How important is a common vocabulary for sharing ideas, and how do we arrive at one? There is probably a breakpoint for shared vocabulary depending upon what you are trying to communicate. The need for a shared vocabulary probably varies directly with the complexity of the idea, and varies indirectly with how much of the idea is understood or agreed upon by the parties involved, how closely understood are non-verbal communications between the parties, how many previous concepts are needed between the idea to be communicated and the recipient, and how receptive the recipient is to the idea for reasons other than the communication itself. (The list would go on and on.) For my part, I've always thought of the interpretation of words as both complex and non-linear, so that a group of people with similar vocabulary and background, exposed to the same words, will result in interpretations that resemble a Lorenz strange attractor, a grouping of results that are very individual yet display order around a common center.