The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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The nebular theory and the planetesimal theory
This working-title makes a place for everything that can be said about these two hypotheses concerning the origin of the solar system. And even if you didn't know one thing about these theories, you would know what you would have to know to discuss this topic adequately. The working-title determines what you must cover. You have here the bone structure, the skeleton, that supports everything else in the pattern.
Suppose that I find you reading a book entitled Worlds in Collision. Is this a book about a clash in ideologies? Or is it about actual worlds in spacesay Venus and Earth? I do not know from this literary title. So I ask What is the book about? In order to sum up the contents of this book, you will need general terms; you will need formators. Your answer will, therefore, take the form of a working-title, whether you are conscious of this fact or not. You will say readily It's about two collisions in the solar system; one about 1500 b.c.,, the other about 700 or 800 B.C. In one sentence you cover the complete subject matter of this book, and, at the same time, establish the arrangement of the major formators. For Velikovsky's book is in two major parts: (1) collision ca. 1500 B.C., and (2) collision ca. 700 B.C. When Velikovsky established these major formators, his task was set out before him. He knew precisely what the book would have to cover and the order in which he would cover it. The literary title of his book is Worlds in Col-lision, but the working-title of this bookthe title from which he workedis Collision ca. 1500 b.c. and collision ca. 700 b.c. An author (or a speaker) is not likely to choose formators for his literary title, but he is obliged to choose formators for his working-title.