This is because I am a geek. Most specifically, a linguistics geek.
But as I read of homonymy and metonymy and polysemy, vague bells went off in my head. Ah, but of course! My second semester here, the lovely Spring of 1999, I took the Language and the Mind honors seminar - and wrote a 20-some page paper on a case-study of the word house in English. I kid you not. Twenty-some pages. (View my hyper insanity. ) I remember it now, going through all the instances I could find in some concordance repositories on the web. This is, in fact, where quotes 26 and 27 came into being. I mean, really - there are an obscene amount of euphemisms for brothels.
In short, I thought for many weeks, came up with five defining features and went on manic classification jaunts as I sorted out semantic space in my head. It was exhilarating.
I repeat, I am Linguistics Geek.
So later, having been thoroughly seduced by the linguistics which had flirted unabashedly with me, I saw a graduate seminar on semantics and signed myself up with eager brightness.
Oh alas, for it was lambda calculus and quantification theory. Where were my words? Oh, the sadness! (And the really smurfing long boring lectures.) So I resigned myself that my foray into house was a hybrid of the linguistics and english departments, never to be heard from again.
Oh, ho ho ho. Witness my current lexical semantics seminar. Oh, bounce! Oh, frabjous glee! We spent an hour defining features of the verb "break". And it was fun. And it was head-space poking. And we barely even touched the surface of it. In an hour.
Oh, sweet linguistics geekery.