The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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150                THE HUMANITY OF WORDS
intelligent citizens of the United States. All the readers of The Saturday Review by indirection address these incitive signs to the President of the United States.
Cousins tells us what he wants. He is concerned for the welfare of all men. He is concerned for relatedness between nations, between all the peoples of all the world, and this he would secureprotectby law.
Relatednessand the dignity and security of all men!
Do these values fit into what is known1958? The answer to this is the criterion by which to judge appraisive and Incitive language.
But, you will tell me, and rightly, that Khrushchev used virtually the same appraisive language as Cousins in a speech he made in Prague. Here are his words, as quoted in The Chicago Tribune on July 13, 1957-
How can you have a clean bomb to do a dirty thing? It means the destruction of women and children. What a contradiction! They call dirty things clean.
How can we appraise the words of a Cousins, let us say, as against those of a Khrushchev? The facts may in both cases be similar; the designators denote. The moral judgment as expressed in words may in both cases be similar. How, then, are we to determine which we shall follow, which we shall support? We must, of course, make a quantitative judgment concerning the reliability of the signs as based on frequency of denotation. But we should supplement this by an investigation of the incitive use of signs expressed, implied, or even omitted. For here is purpose and the system of beliefs is the reservoir from which purpose springs.
What does Cousins want? Why does he write? Cousins