The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search

48                     THE HUMANITY OF WORDS
15. The "triangle" of meaning of Ogden and Richards
The "triangle" of meaning6 shows the relations between words, thoughts, and things.
At the peak of the "triangle" is a human being. Here is either the user of wordsthe person who has selected the wordsor the recipient of the words who must, from his perspective, entertain7 those words.
61 have taken the liberty of putting a person at the peak of Ogden's and Richards' hare "triangle." See The Meaning of Meaning, p. 11. Also, at this point, touch a chair or point to a chair silently. You can't sit on a sketch (which is, itself, a nonverbal symbol).
7 Again, notice the important word "entertain." We do more than receive words. Look into your World and read, first, the definition of "enter": "to force a way into"; "to penetrate"; "to pierce." Now notice the definition of "entertain." Suggestive for our use in this context are: "to consider"; "to keep in mind"; "to keep up"; "to continue." A recipient must find his way into the words of another and evaluate them and use them as new information in his responsive activity. (This will be developed in detail in Part Five below.)