The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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6^                     THE HUMANITY OF WORDS
This is all an opposing lawyer would permit on the witness stand. He would ask for symbolsbare. Just what did you hear? Just what did you seef Nothing more.
Grammar can help.
Today you can begin to describe things as they are. You can choose words that are symbols, untainted by emotive content. This is a task that requires rigorous attention. It is so "natural" to express our selves. It is so difficult to describe without appraising.
Symbolic language, as defined by Ogden and Richards, is, at its best, the language of fact. Symbols are impersonal and subject to verification.
There is no better formula for the report.
And grammar can help*
Ogden and Richards prefer to use the word "reference" instead of "thought" A thought, they say, can (and often does!) stay put inside someone's head. The word "reference" suggests that the thought is a reference to something in the worldi.e., to a referent.
It is important to remember that in the context of The Meaning of Meaning a reference (or thought) excludes feelings, appraisals, valueseverything that is expressive of preferences, attitudes, etc. A reference is made up of symbols. The reference is cold. It points to things in the outside world impersonally. The expression of anything personal does not have the status of a reference, and is, therefore, irrelevant to the science of symbolism of these authors.