For instance, if I were to discuss "Ni", for instance, that could mean anything. However, when people use it in practice, it could be the first two letters of the word Night, it could be a transposition of the word "in", it could be an unusual way of spelling "nigh" in a riddle, It could be the shorthand for the element Nickel, or it could be shorthand for Introverted Intuition. To determine which it is, I would eliminate possibilities. First, I would see if the surrounding sentence structure made more sense if the letters were transposed. When it doesn't, I eliminate that. While noticing that, I also notice that the sentence is not intended to be a riddle, and eliminate that. That leaves the two shorthand ones. Since this is an MBTI forum and not a chemistry website, I presume that Ni is unlikely to be Nickel. Even if it weren't, the context created by all the other words in the post would have given it away. I also decide that the sort of Ni you discuss is the MBTI definition of Ni, not the Socionic one. In the midst of all this, I'm actually trying to determine exactly what Ni is within that context, and as yet I only have vague, mutable ideas that aren't quite precise enough, but I continually try to refine and explain them, but never knowing how accurate I am, because there are too many differing opinions, and no way to know which is right.
Also, the amusing thought just crossed my mind that some chemist might have stumbled onto this site, and wondered for a moment why we were all discussing the behavior of Silicon, Nickel, Neon, Selenium, Iron, Titanium, Tellurium, and whether Fi was a new element, and what on earth they had to do with the situations we were discussing.
Note that I usually don't have to step through all this sequentially in my mind, it usually happens a lot faster and with less work, this was to illustrate my thought process.