Visualise something and you’re well on your way to understanding it better.
See what I mean? Take a look at my last post. But don’t your other senses get a look in? The words we use give us plenty of clues to what we are doing in our heads.
I would have thought that after vision, hearing would yield the largest number of words and phrases that meant ‘understanding’. I was wrong.
I suppose you can say, “Yes, I hear you.” Something can ‘ring a bell’. Folks who fail to understand things can be ‘dumb’.
Otherwise that’s about it.
I was able to sniff out even fewer ways in which we understand things with this very primitive sense – at least as expressed in words.
Well, you can ‘digest’ a meaning, ‘absorb’ it or ‘take it in’.
Surprisingly, the sense of touch yielded quite a crop of phrases for grasping a meaning.
Yes, you can ‘grasp’ a meaning. Aha, then you ‘get it’. You’ve ‘got it’! A posher way of saying that is that you comprehend it. (Which only means you grasp it – from prehendere – in Latin.)
That is to say you’ve ‘got a handle on it’. You’ve ‘caught on’ or ‘cottoned on’.
In other words the meaning has ‘sunk in’. It has ‘got through to you’. Hurrah, they’ve ‘got it across’.
Those of a nautical persuasion can ‘fathom’ a murky meaning or even ‘take it on board’.
…Though of course that depends on whether they are ‘sharp’ or ‘thick’.