In Bertrand Russell's Analysis of Mind, after he gave only a few examples, he wrote "But it is unnecessary to prolong the catalogue of the uses of language in thought." At the height of excitement, I was hugely disappointed by this abrupt end. Now I'd like to create exactly such a catalogue. Please don't hesitate to post anything that comes to your mind. Thanks!
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Here is Russell's list
The advantages of words for purposes of thought are so great that I should never end if I were to enumerate them. But a few of them deserve to be mentioned.
In the first place, there is no difficulty in producing a word, whereas an image cannot always be brought into existence at will, and when it comes it often contains much irrelevant detail. In the second place, much of our thinking is concerned with abstract matters which do not readily lend themselves to imagery, and are apt to be falsely conceived if we insist upon finding images that may be supposed to represent them. The word is always concrete and sensible, however abstract its meaning may be, and thus by the help of words we are able to dwell on abstractions in a way which would otherwise be impossible. In the third place, two instances of the same word are so similar that neither has associations not capable of being shared by the other. Two instances of the word "dog" are much more alike than (say) a pug and a great dane; hence the word "dog" makes it much easier to think about dogs in general. When a number of objects have a common property which is important but not obvious, the invention of a name for the common property helps us to remember it and to think of the whole set of objects that possess it. But it is unnecessary to prolong the catalogue of the uses of language in thought.
Russell, Bertrand. The Analysis of Mind. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2529/2529-h/2529-h.htm
Unfortunately I did not read Bertrand Russell's Analysis of Mind but two things come to my minds.
Not only a word may stand for an abstract or complex concept, but it helps us to develop on these concepts, building again more elaborated concepts that would have been inaccessible to our mind otherwise. I believe that the history of human thought is written like this. How to even think about republic without the concept of democracy, vote or individualism. Sometimes, taking a closer look at this concepts, that we take for granted and are the foundation of what we believe, can revolutionized our vision of the world. Simply because behind these words there was something more complex than we were assuming so far.
At the same time I believe that unfortunate associations have also a great place in the history of thought. Mixed semantic, errors, misinterpretation or translation can open our mind to new perspectives. They can lead to complex theory, good or bad. "Race" is an example of how a fuzzy concept based on only one or maybe few unclear human phenotype can lead to a considerable amount of thought production. I think "consciousness" is another of this term that produced some of the most interesting thought without anybody beeing really sure what it is.
Words can be used for typographical conveniences
Theoretically, it is unnecessary ever to give a definition ... the definitions are no part of our subject, but are, strictly speaking, mere typographical conveniences. Practically, of course, if we introduced no definitions, our formulae would very soon become so lengthy as to be unmanageable; but theoretically, all definitions are superfluous.
Words can embody our choice of consideration and express notable advance.
First, a definition usually implies that the definiens is worthy of careful consideration. Hence the collection of definitions embodies our choice of subjects and our judgment as to what is most important. Secondly, when what is defined is (as often occurs) something already familar, such as cardinal or ordinal numbers, the definition contains an analysis of a common idea, and may therefore express a notable advance.
Whitehead & Russell. Principia Mathematica. Chapter 1. Page 12, Merchant Books, 1910