The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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26                     THE HUMANITY OF WORDS
calls for the use of words thought, said, and written. There is need for decisions and plans. There is need for conversation, for conferences, for discussions. There is need for reports, for letters. The businessman must talk with his associates, with his superiors, with his workers, with his competitors, with his customers, with his "prospects." The businessman must communicate with union officials and, frequently, with government officials. He must inform others; he must persuade others; he must get others to do things for him and with him. He advertises. He uses salespeople. And he must be equipped to handle the welter of words that come his way. He has discovered, quite suddenly, that in our competitive economy his most valuable stock in trade is words. He has discovered that certain semantic devices are appropriate to certain communication experiences and he has set about developing a high efficiency in the use of those skills. Dollar-profit is the lureand the reward.
But there is "profit" and "profit." Beyond the necessary dollar-profit that concerns us all, there is value-profit there is human-profit. The teacher, the preacher, the lawyer, the clubwoman; the wife, the mother, the friend, the man in the streeteveryoneis reaching out toward "profit" of one kind or another. All of us spend our whole lives through seeking satisfactions of our own needs.
Throughout the day, every day of our lives, we use words in an effort to achieve our purposeswhatever they are. The purpose is there, whether we are aware of it or not. We are needing, wanting, striving human beings. To put this into one word, we are purposive creatures. Life means activity. But activity, the biologists tell us, always springs from purpose. Purpose is built-in. We are born that way.
The purpose may be on the deep unconscious level of