Maybe in your world. In my experience, communicating your thoughts clearly so your audience can comprehend them is the key to understanding.
Sorry, Norm, but I think Rufus bested you on this. His writing is a lot easier to comprehend.
So please do.
If by the root meaning you mean the meanings of the roots taken separately, then combined ["apo" (away from), "ollumi" (destroy) which comes from the base "olethros" (destruction resulting in death), right?], that doesn't really matter. The only things that really matter as far as the meaning is concerned is the usage, not roots or etymology. I can think of some words that are used differently than their root meanings (like "gay," for example).
What makes you think that the meaning of the word in Biblical or Classical usage is different from the root meaning?
Remember how one of its most important meanings (or maybe the most important meaning) of the word is to die literally?
Get past the dictionary. Dictionaries and lexicons don't tell you what words mean, at least not abstract ones. They can only guide you towards an understanding of the meaning.
To understand the meanings of such words, including in one's native language, requires an exercise of the intuition. It's more than just connecting the dots in dictionary entries (anybody can do that).
It's not just the dictionary definition, that's true. But intuition isn't really a good exegesis tool since human feelings are notoriously unreliable. The context should work along with dictionary definition towards the exegesis, not intuition.
Rufus is a lot more patient and kind than I could ever be. Although, in this one case, I do think I could do a better than he.
I would rather assign some basic reading in hermeneutics, cause I doubt anyone cares. After all, other than myself, my buddy, Zizek evidently, and maybe Rufus understood Rumsfeld brilliant unsaid punchline about WMDs?
And in the end, I will end up in what sounds like tautology to you.
Oh well, here we go.
The only things that really matter as far as the meaning is concerned is the usage, not roots or etymology.
I would (dis)agree completely with this statement.
What if my usage (and indeed everyone's usage is) is affected and informed by what you call roots and etymology?
Even if we could imagine a person's usage which was not explicitly informed by roots and etymology, once they do become aware of such matters such as roots and etymology, it is too late. Their understanding has indeed altered in light of that realization.
So it is not a matter of whether roots and etymology matter, it is how.
Since I can only determine we are discussing death within the context of a text which all parties agree where the word death doesn't occur in all translations, we are brought into the realm of a hermeneutics which requires a bit more precision than has been put forth.
I think Rufus is right to insist that the discussion find its beginning in what death means in some manner which allows all other senses to flow from it. Where one starts doesn't matter as much as one stays without staggering too far from the course toward what death means.
Sorry Peter but intelligibility is the enemy of understanding.
So how does a child come to understand language?
Not through rules sets and lectures.
Sides, I ain't finished yet. And really not everyone can understand everything.
Do you understand basketball well enough to play in the NBA? Can Lebron explain basketball well enough to enable you to?
There is a difference between understanding
and doing something which relies on understanding like intelligibility