The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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MORRIS                                    165
tween designators and appraisers, and they do it quick as a flash.
Adults should treat statements that sound like facts differently from the way they treat appraisive statements. And yet they fail, for one reason or another, to make the distinction. Here are two statements that were part of the test given to the executives:
Last year the records show a loss of §20,000 on the Alaska project.
That was a lot of money to lose.
Everyone called the first statement a fact. (These are designators, of course, and if they denote, the statement is a fact. And in the test, it was assumed that the designators denoted.)
But only four of the thirty called the second statement an opinion!
A designative statement is the cue to find the denotatum;
an appraisive statement is the cue to find supportive evidence in designators that denote.
We are gullible before the signs of others when we fail to establish the relationship of the uses of language: first, designators; then, appraisers; and only then, prescxiptors.
We are gullible before the signs of others when we fail to distinguish between fads, false statements, and opinions. Designators that denote are facts, at a date; designators that do not denote are false statements. Appraisers are always personal and are, therefore, opinions. An opinion is neither true nor false, neither right nor wrong. An opinion Is better or worse depending on the evidence that supports it; and evidence must be discovered in designators that denote.
Grammar can help us make the distinctions.