The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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Il8                  THE HUMANITY OF WORDS
utensils, etc. This fills the length to an inch. The kitchen is wide enough to hold a refrigerator on the far end that also holds the twenty-four-inch built-in table. Above the refrigerator and the table-stove-sink are wooden cabinets for dishes, some staples, etc. But the elegant feature of this kitchen is the Venetian blind that I can ring down like a curtain. The kitchen is right off the entrance to the apartment (remodeled, I suppose, from some kind of closet). When the doorbell rings, down comes that blind. And, if you were to enter the apartment, you'd probably get the impression, as many have, that the light shining through comes from a convenient "powder room"
Well, there you have it. Think of the et ceteras I have left out! For every word I have used is a class wordtable, three-burner stove, sink, silver, cooking utensils, etc. that points only to the similarities of the class of objects described and leaves out all of the differences.
Certainly, I could have told you about my pots that hang under my wooden built-in table so that the bottoms (which are too much trouble to polish) don't show; I could have told you how one of my cabinet doors sticks on damp days; I could have told you about the leak in the pipe under the sink; I could have told you about my cracked cups, my assortment of leftover dinner plates, my convenient can opener, etc. But who doesn't have pots with unpolished bottoms, and who doesn't have a sticky door now and then, and who doesn't have a leaky pipe now and then, and who doesn't have a can opener1958, and how will these words tell you what's different in mine from yours?
I can, of course, pile up the descriptive nouns and adjectives, etc., but how can my words tell all? In the first place, how can we get to the event level of my kitchen? This we can never reach, with or without instruments. If.