my furpose…or is it punction?

13 Mar

over the past few days i have had some wonderful conversations regarding the nuances of 2 little words, function and purpose. more specifically, i’ve been interested in what the difference between those two words are. i’m no wordsmith, but i do like the idea of acknowledging subtle differences. when i looked up the words i got a definition for function as “what something is used for” and for purpose i found “the anticipated outcome”. so i was on to something, it seems like something could have a function, but not necessarily a purpose. the converse would also seem to be true. someone else told me that the function is the ‘what’ and the purpose is the ‘why’, this too seemed like a good way to look at things. the context of my original question has to do with blogs, but depending on who i was speaking to the target and application of these two words become different. the more i think about it, regardless of what you’re talking about, when you take a step back, wouldn’t anyone want to be more than functional? it sounds so utilitarian. whereas purposeful implies some higher calling, a more noble pursuit. purposeful is change, functional can-openers. purposeful is rising above it all, functional git-r-done. does having one, imply there is always the other?

1 Comment

Posted by on March 13, 2009 in Uncategorized


One response to “my furpose…or is it punction?

  1. Janice D.

    March 23, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    I don’t think it necessarily follows. Some teachers function to teach but others go above and beyond in ensuring that their students actually learn. They are the ones with a purpose. I think understanding the purpose determines how the function is executed. As for blogs, I know that it functions as a reflective space for us to share our professional insights. In order for it to be purposeful, I guess it’s up to us to take what we can out of it and channel it into something productive.


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