The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search




152                  THE HUMANITY OF WORDS
tion? The mode of significationthe way he signifiesis through the use of formators.
The term "formator" deserves attention. It signifies something whose function it is to make form. To make form is to establish a pattern in wThich the arrangement the relatednessof the separate elements is of primary significance rather than the intrinsic nature of the separate elements. Let me quote here, again, the statement by Wiener:
A pattern is essentially an arrangement. It is characterized by the order of the elements of which it is made, rather than by the intrinsic nature of these elements.34
To say, then, that the user of signs establishes order by the use of formators does not mean that he introduces new content of any kind. Formators simply make it possible to establish the arrangement of many separate signs. Say that you want to bring before your community the fact that chain stores are displacing independent stores with the result that capital comes from other localities and profits revert, therefore, to those localities. But, you want to point out, also, that the chain stores do bring the consumers of your community advantages both in merchandise and in price. You would, of course, have your facts and your figures and the specific examples that would support your statements. All these separate signs can be organized under these formators: The disadvantages and the advantages of chain stores. And, if the recipient will respond not to the intrinsic nature of the separate signs but to the arrangementthe formof the entire sign complex, the formators are adequate. The recipient will know just what you are talking aboutThe disadvantages and the advantages
34 Human Use of Human Beings, p. 3.