The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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transitions from one major part to another, and to conclude with a recapitulation of what he has covered. He hits hard at formators. His aim is to transmit the verbal pattern in order to insure understanding. But when the writer's purpose is to elicit an attitude and/or action response, he is not likely to emphasize pattern. He will probably use designators, appraisors, and prescriptors for the sake of persuasion rather than for the sake of transmitting pattern. Cousins' long introductory paragraphs concerning "the language of madmen'' are, for example, entirely appraisive and devoid of formators. The purpose is, of course, to achieve an attitude response. After the introduction, Cousins moves from designators, to appraisors (not of the 'language of madmen" but of the actual facts), to prescriptors. One paragraph is given over to five questions. A question is always incitive. It asks for an answer. It asks the reader, therefore, to thinkwith the author. A paragraph of questions is a paragraph of concentrated prescriptors. And, since the reader has already been prepared by appraisors which rest, in turn, upon designators that denote, Cousins moves toward these prescriptors with semantic efficiency. But Cousins makes no effort to delineate pattern by means of formators. In such a case, the responsibility rests with the reader. He must ferret out formators and make pattern. Only so can he establish the relationship between designators, appraisors, and prescriptors. And, until this is accomplished, he cannot properly evaluate the work.
It is apparent, then, that in the analytical and evaluative procedure, the reader must exert control. His is not a passive operation. His responsibility is only second to that of the writer. With practice, analysis and evaluation can be performed simultaneously and skillfully; but, for the