Filler

Last orders, please

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g4981 (Published 20 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4981
  1. Turab M Chakera, consultant radiologist, clinical professor, Department of Diagnostic & Interventional Radiology, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Western Australia,
  2. Richard M Mendelson, consultant radiologist, clinical professor, Department of Diagnostic & Interventional Radiology, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Western Australia

Semantics is the study of meaning. Words have denotations (literal meanings) and connotations (cultural or emotional associations.)

In linguistics, words also have pragmatic or contextual meaning, reliant on the subject matter, the situational context, and the relative positions of the speaker and listener.

The Oxford Dictionary tells us the denoted meaning of the word “order” is “an authoritative command or instruction.” The connotation of the word is that the receiver is subordinate to the giver and that the action resulting from the order is not contingent on the receiver’s agreement to …

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