There is an urgent need for a change to Jonathon De Wet’s (Letters, 12 July) ignorance of semantics, of lexicography, and of the significance of context.
He obviously does not know the old dictum that words do not have meanings; we have meanings for words, and context reveals what the meaning is in any particular instance (think of ‘kids’ for children and for baby goats, or ‘row’ for propelling a boat and for undignified noisy squabble – there are countless examples).
Streets and roads around here are named after – wait for it! – shrubs and trees. We locals know that – we live in Tuckeroo, Golden Penda, Melaleuca, Azalea, Brushbox, Willow and unsurprisingly, Hottentot. We even have the Tallowood locality.
It takes a fevered imagination to see other (let alone deviant or malevolent) meanings in the context of the road and street names hereabouts.
Therefore, my advice (through you, madam) to Jonathon De Wet is to open his mind and broaden his education.