The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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MORRIS                                    147
tables! Here, again, grammar becomes an ally of semantic Investigation.
Note, now, just what Cousins is doing in this passage. He is objecting violently to the use of the innocuous valuative sign "clean" to disguise hideous designators. He translates the valuative sign "clean" into informative language "a bomb with reduced potential for causing radioactive fallout." But it is a hydrogen bomb which can incinerate millions of human beings! The favorably appraisive noun "sunshine units" he translates as strontium 90a radioactive poison that gets into the nucleic acid and the bones with a risk of cancer.
Cousins uses the semantic device of translating appraisers into designators, thus to support his appraisors. And this Is, of course, the device recommended by Morris.
The test of the adequacy of valuative signs is, again, in the response of the recipient. If wre, Cousins* readers, respond to these appraisers in the way Cousins intends, then his signs have been adequate. They have fulfilled their purpose.
Valuative signs ask for an attitude response.
When valuative signs become appraisers for the recipient, the signs are adequate.
Designators that denote may be used in support of appraisers.
Semiotic is not a theory of value. But this is a behavioral science of signs. And the recipient of appraisive signs will desire some criteria of worth In relation to appraisers. These reside ultimately in the value system of the user of signs. Some clues as to the nature of the value system of