The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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56                    THE HUMANITY OF WORDS
face the fact that, frequently, people do not knowexactly. How, then, can we?
The simple but important semantic device is to ask: Where? When? Who? What?
20. How to use the "triangle"
Look, again, at the "triangle."
The key words of Ogden and Richards are 1. symbol, 2. reference, and 3. referent. Attention to these three terms will give you the essential points of the semantic theory of these authors:
1. SYMBOL
For Ogden and Richards, some words are symbols; others are not. As has already been indicated, these authors restrict, the use of the term "symbol" to words that refer, through thoughts, to things. Everything inside the skin that related to feelings, attitudes, hopes, dreams, etc. is excluded. This is the distinguishing characteristic of their science of symbolism.
Let me give you a sample of "symbolic" language, as defined by Ogden and Richards:
Our house is on a lot 60 x 150. There are five rooms, all on one floor. The living room is 17x21. This faces the street on the 21-foot side. Facing the rear is a dinette, the kitchen, and the utility room. There are two bedrooms (with connecting bath), one facing the street, the other the rear.
This is not very exciting, is it? No. The words are intended to refer to things. They are symbols. You can see, of course, that the new science of symbolism