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Smoke; mirrors.

We will continue to differentiate ourselves from the industry by:

  • Delivering value propositions that target end-user appearance and industrial [commodity] markets worldwide using our consultative selling approach;
  • Focusing on product and service (customer value differentiation) to maximize margins;

  • Building and maintaining inter-functional coordination between facilities, functions and customers to create and deliver value proposition requirements.

—key points from a marketing strategy for a [commodity] corporation

The word /smoke/ refers to a portion of content segmentation which we will conventionally designate as «smoke». At this point, we have three alternatives, whether intensional or extensional: (a) «smoke» connotes «fire» on the basis of an encyclopedia-like representation which takes into account metonymic relationships of effect-to-cause (a case grammar accounting for “actants” like Cause or Agent can represent rather well this sort of meaning postulate); (b) the sentence /there is smoke/ expresses as its content the proposition «there is smoke» which, always by virtue of an underlying encyclopedic representation including frames or scripts (see 3.2 of this book), suggests as a reasonable inference «there is fire» (notice that we are still at an intensional level, since the possibility of the inference is coded among the properties of smoke, independently of any actual world experience); (c) in a process of reference to states of the actual world the proposition «there is smoke», on the grounds of the aforementioned meaning postulates, leads to the indexical proposition «therefore here is fire», to be evaluated in terms of truth values.

—Umberto Eco, “1.7. The Stoics”
from Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language