Keywords: Meaning, Semantic Standard, Interpretation, Donald Davidson.
Many philosophers, beginning with Donald Davidson, have doubted that the notion of semantic standard is of any use in accounting for communication. I offer an argument to the contrary. The (practically based) need to guarantee that any interpretation of the words we utter that does not conform to our communicative intentions will be regarded as a misunderstanding explains why we (mostly) want to speak according to the standard and (usually) believe to be speaking according to the standard. If we want to be taken to be responsible for the thoughts that we are prepared to accept responsibility for, then we had better speak according to the standard, for only if we do so will non-intended interpretations of our words be regarded as misunderstandings of what we in fact said, so that we shall not be regarded as responsible for them.