The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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70                  THE HUMANITY OF WORDS
referent Is something in the room that everyone can see. But there will be other words that will have referents because they name things, and these are the words they must watch for. These are the clues that will lead them to the referent
With hands clamped over their mouths, the children listenand search for the referent as Miss Sh'Ann speaks:
The clown has always been an interesting character. Many plays and movies are about clowns. There is something about a clown that is sad, I think. I suppose because he has to laugh a lotand there are so many things that aren't funny at all. And yet the clown must laugh and make other people laugh too. Did you ever see the play Laugh Clown Laugh? That was a sad clown, but his mouth was painted big and wide. Only his eyes looked sad. Some artists like to paint clowns. One famous artist painted sad-looking clowns. You'd hardly know they were clowns to look at them. These clowns were father and son. You'd know that in a minute if you saw the painting they look so much alike. Both tall and thin. Somehow, this doesn't seem clownlike, does it? And they were not very successful, I am sure, because their tights are baggy. A successful clown would be very particular about his tights, I think, don't you? Another thing about this painting, it is done mostiy in a deep blue colorvery somber. But I love this painting because it makes me think of all the sad people in the world who have the courage to smile and try to make other people smile.
Of course, Wendy! There it is. You are the winner! You are the first to point to the thing. You are the first to find the referent. Right therethe painting on the wall!
What were the words that had referents, Wendy? What were the clues?