The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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OGDEN AND RICHARDS
6l
The boy is lazy you say. Lazy? I admired his easygoing manner. Say / saw the boy lying on the grassy the lawn mower beside him.
Watch your nouns. They are not always uncontaminated symbols.
The "dame," the "gal," the "matron," the "skirt," the "doll," the "bag," the "dish," the "lady,"all these carry attitudes. They do refer to things (individuals) but they have emotive content that disqualify them as symbols.
Nouns such as "loafer," "moron," "ignoramus," "tycoon," "idiot," etc., carry their judgments openly. They are not, of course, clean symbols and are not, therefore, appropriate to the report. Nouns, such as "Russian," "Democrat," "Negro," etc., sometimes have hidden judgments. The word "Russian," for example, when used as a symbol, refers only to a person of Russian birth- The emotive overtones may suggest anything from a friend to an enemy, depending on the perspective of the interpreter.
A noun is supposed to stand for "a person, place, or thing." In the report, every noun should be as impersonal as symbolic language can make it.
Watch your verbs, too. These are not always simple action words:
The woman screeched through the song. The man prowled in the night.
All that the symbol is entitled to say is:
The woman sang.
The man walked at night.