This comment will be a little dry, but I think, necessary for clarification, and may help you improve your writing, as I found out about the study of etymology, from looking into the methods of some of the world's greatest communicators. Etymology came up again and again.
I realize, after some thought, that you may have meant ‘desperate’ in a different sense, such as “having little hope of success”, or “in an extremely bad, serious, or dangerous situation.”
Such is the problem with the ambiguity of natural languages, when one word carries many senses. In order to reduce ambiguity in my speech, I usually check the etymology of the word (using etymonline.com) to find the “essence” of the word. The etymology of etymology is:
“from Greek etymologia "analysis of a word to find its true origin," properly "study of the true sense (of a word)," with -logia "study of, a speaking of" (see -logy) + etymon "true sense," neuter ofetymos "true, real, actual," related to eteos "true,“.
I do recognize that to use etymology as definition is a fallacy. From Wikipedia:
“A variant of the etymological fallacy involves looking for the "true" meaning of words by delving into their etymologies, or claiming that a word should be used in a particular way because it has a particular etymology. Notable examples include the terms antisemitism and philosemitism, which were coined to refer to Jews specifically, rather than to Semites in general.“
However, I still find it insightful to look at what the word originally meant, to find exactly what phenomenon the word was coined to signify, because over time, the word develops more and more ambiguous meanings from loose, careless, and widespread usage.
Isidore of Seville wrote an etymological encyclopedia in the 7th century which was “arguably the most influential book, after the Bible, in the learned world of the Latin West for nearly a thousand years.” This encyclopedia had an influence on some of the world's greatest writers, like Dante, Shakespeare, and Chaucer. Isidore wrote:
“The knowledge of a word's etymology often has an indispensable usefulness for interpreting the word, for when you have seen whence a word has originated, you understand its force more quickly. Indeed, one's insight into anything is clearer when its etymology is known.”
For example, the word “king” in Latin is “rex”, which comes from recte, meaning “acting correctly.” (Compare with the English word 'erect'). Human being comes from the Latin homo, which comes fromhumus, which means “of the earth.” Interesting, isn't it? Wtih etymology, one gains insight into how words relate to each other.
Another example; what Isidore begins his encyclopedia with:
“A discipline (disciplina) takes its name from 'learning' (discere), whence it can also be called 'knowledge' (scientia). Now 'know' (scire) is named from 'learn' (discere), because none of us knows unless we have learned.”
Many will criticize one as a pedant who seeks precision in language, but I'll quote Orwell, who said:
“Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. Our civilization is decadent and our language -- so the argument runs -- must inevitably share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.“
and John Locke:
"He that uses his words loosely and unsteadily will either not be minded or not understood."
Language is a tool for thought, and any imperfection in the instrument is liable to lead to imprecision in thought. Words are symbols of things in reality; they are not the things themselves, they can only serve as signposts pointing to the things. Since the etymology of "communicate" is "to make common" (Latin:communis), I understand the purpose of communication to be for those engaged in it to "hold in common" ideas. This can only happen if words have precise definition, if all individuals involved know exactly what in Reality the words are meant to signify. For instance, one could have a really long discussion with another about "Truth", yet never come to a common understanding, because the word "Truth" was never defined. What if to Person A, Truth meant "whatever feels right", and to Person B, "whatever group consensus says is Truth", and so they bicker about what things are true, and can never agree, because they understand "Truth" differently?
The etymology of Truth is:
- truth (n.)
- Old English triewð (West Saxon), treowð (Mercian) "faith, faithfulness, fidelity, loyalty; veracity, quality of being true; pledge, covenant," from triewe, treowe "faithful" (see true(adj.)), with Proto-Germanic abstract noun suffix *-itho (see -th (2)).
Sense of "something that is true" is first recorded mid-14c. Meaning "accuracy, correctness" is from 1560s.
So I would define Truth as "that which is Faithful to Reality."