The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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A FIELD THEORY OF COMMUNICATION 193
well developed, as far as it goes, but it may omit something of importance. An open sectional structure is always, therefore, subject to analytical and critical investigation.
The conjunctive sectional pattern has its special usefulness in that it calls for further analysis of the frame of reference into which the formators fall.
And now, to illustrate again how natural it is to make verbal patterns, I shall cite an incident that occurred at a meeting of the elementary-school teachers of Chicago. I was invited by this organization to speak on the topic, "How to Study." The purpose was to consider the use of techniques of communication in the learning process on the grade school level. I explained to them that it was difficult to discuss this abstractly without the learner; that we refer now to the teacher-learner situation-as-a-whole. I asked if I might bring Jill, Pam, and Wendy. The four of us sat around a table equipped with microphones and talked, as we so often do. ("Let's have conversation I") Of course, nothing had been rehearsed. We proceeded very much as usual. Jill, what have you been reading lately? Jill said she had just finished reading The Call of the Wild. I asked her to tell us the story. We timed Jill's narration and it ran twelve minutes. When she had finished, I asked the other girls What was the story about? Now this is the question that must be asked to get at the working-title (of the narration, in this case, but of any lesson which must be read and studied). Pamie said, "It was about a dog." This answer is, of course, correct, and any adult might begin just there. The communicator looks at such a statement and finds that it is, indeed, a synthesis. It includes all. But the communicator must analyze further to discover the components of this synthesis. Unless he can do this, the