"Single words don't normally describe things, but rather combine into a description. Single words identify things, actions, characteristics in languages."
I'd have to disagree, Stephen. How about Christianity, to use a timely example? It implies all sorts of things, but there is much disagreement about what those things are. And even if you used a million words to describe it, you still wouldn't have a description universally acceptable. The problem is magnified by how words are strung together. It is very difficult to write or speak in a way that conveys the same meaning to everyone in your immediate audience, never mind when your audience is spread across thousands of miles and potentialy dozens of cultures and/or languages which require translation. I would agree that codified definitions of words, as they appear in dictionaries are useful, but I don't think they are sufficient to the task at hand in many cases. That is where the art of communicating I was referring to comes in handy. It is one that I wish received more emphasis in our homes, schools, and society at large. Even if that art did receive more emphasis, I guess I feel that we are a long, long way from evolving to a point where our words will accurately convey the full meaning of what we are trying to communicate, simply because each person at this point in time has a slightly different understanding of so many words, and there are no standardized ways of sequencing words to express complex thoughts.
"So a possible description of "Tom Kirchner" might be, "He's a guy who writes interesting posts on BackpackingLight.com forums." Obviously that's not a complete description, but it's an accurate one!"
While I am gratified, and humbled, by your words, I can only agree that the first part is accurate, in that it is not a compl;ete description. On the latter, I am fairly certain you would not find universal agreement. ;)