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When one thinks about language, there are many phrases that are inexact or vague and ambiguous. For example, when one thinks about the Sorites paradox, one encounters inexactness in language as to what constitutes a "heap" or more precisely a vague predicate.

The way I see it, I don't think there's anything that can be said about how to measure a "heap". Indeed, this is another example of a vague predicate that cannot seemingly be precise.

Apart from the perception of a "heap" to be determined just by seeing, I am concerned about why can't terms like a "hole" or a "heap" cannot be precise, as the only thing left to talk about is the size of the heap to, in a sense, measure it and make it a quantifiable measure?

Why do you think this vagueness of the predicates such as a "heap" or a "hole" arise in language?

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  • Language is for communication and this is a broad phenomenon than simple "description". We can understand each other also with vague terms, through context, presuppositions, etc. Every child has been "trained" by parents to pay attention to holes without any need of a precise definition of the diameter of the hole. Jul 1 at 8:07
  • You could define, fairly precisely, how many grains of sand comprise a heap. But any such definition would be arbitrary. Two people trying it would come up with two different definitions. The bottom line is that natural language is fuzzy and the edge cases of terms are not clearly defined.
    – causative
    Jul 1 at 19:22

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