The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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THE COMMUNICATION PROCESS                21
Just as men make and remake themselves by words, just as men make and remake their world by words, so words may make men in the image of what is already known and what is already sought after. The shackling power of words is great. We can save ourselves from their domination only as we can dominate them. But once the functions of words are understood, once the shackles are broken, words may become a power of equal, if not greater, strength for freedom.
Words have binding powersand the measure of man's control over words is the measure of his freedom.
Semantics is the study of the mastery of wordsin the interest of human goals.
The social science semantics is one means by which to approach the hoped-for enda more mature, a more human use of language.
3. Language is social
Language makes it possible for human beings to think together, to feel together, and to act together. For those who know a language, words may set up similar expectations, words may establish similar preferences, and words may be the cue to similar behavior. To know a language is to have a common ground upon which to meet others.
To say that language is social is to say that words make it possible for us to communicate with each other.
4.  Communication and the concept of uniqueness
The word "communication" is a very broad term. When you hear it, you may think it refers to Western Union or