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About The Nebraskan. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1892-1899 | View Entire Issue (March 6, 1896)
1 ho Aoathotioa of Words.
T)u following arllolu on tho "Aua
tlulU'H ol WortlH" by l'rof. l. A. Slior
nuiii, mipouioil in tho Koptombcr mini-lu-r
ol tho North Wuatorn Journal of
l'iiliH'alton. It 1h ono ol a m'ticn or ton ,
articles by tho profuaaor wliluh havo
Inon niiiiiliiK alnuo then. 11 la rciulnw
imI lur tho tionollt of HtuiliMitH. In tho
llti'talmo couraoa through tin oout'toay
of l'rof, Shurnuui anil .1. 11. .Mlllor, nub
llaluT of tho North-NVoaturn Jouriml,
Words, wo havo Ikoii UuikIU, aro
slKlia of liloaa. Tli la la truo, but not
moii' truo than that thoy aro alao hIriih
of oinotlou; ami often of both Uloaa uml
To boBln at tho boKinnliiK, it ahoulU
bo noted that worila are, miminlly, tho
alalia of thliiKa. Chlhlron learn llrat,
thliiKa, then tho naiuea of things. The
mother uta her luuiil upon some urtl
elo or object that the child 1ms grown
to know familiarly, and aaya chair,"
or "Look," or "table." Thua the child
learna to Identify theao things reaiact
ively when their namea are apoken.
Hitch one of tlioiu boara perhapa al
ready aomenameof the ehlld'a own mak
ing, or aoine other Imltatlveoralmplllleil
nursery dealgnatlou. Hut now that tho
child la old enough to begin mending
Its baby dialect, every audi object will
be recognized no leas quickly by men.
tlon of the new name than of tho old.
Manifestly, then, we llrat use words aa
namea of things, aa algna by which we
Identify objecta and actions to one an.
It should be noted that the objecta
nrst namcu thus to the child are al
ways In sight. After tho names have
been often and familiarly used to des
ignate and Identify thu things they
stand for, they become algna of the
Ideas of the things. That Is, If the ob
jects they designate are no longer pres
ent to the eye of the child or mother,
mental pictures, or "Ideas." of thus., oh.
Jects will come to mind when their
namea are mentioned. Whether chil
dren see a mental picture of the things
named while In plain bight. Is not soclear.
In general, adult minds do not. If there
Is occasion to contemplate any object
known to li In the room or In eyeshot,
on mention of the name we Instinct
l ely turn and view the object and save
a picture of It Thus "llatlron," or
"handsaw," If named under certain
circumstances, prompt us to turn where
a handsaw may be seen hanging on the
wall, or a llatlron resting upon , the
stove. But If these words are uttered
while the mind cannot Identify by dis
covering the objects at llrst Imnd, a
picture of each, more or less vivid ac.
cording to the occasion, will form it
self In the mental Held of view.
In the circumstances Just considered
It Is clear that the words used as signs
of Ideas are not, so far as we are con-
SClOUS. Sl CtlS also Of ff.llnrr That.
se.-ve as means by which the speaker
cans up the pictures respectively of
the things he wishes to the mind of
the hearer. To the hearer they serve
as signs of what the speaker sees In
his own mind, and for the sake of
which he speaks. But words are not
always thus merely names of things,
or signs of the mental pictures of
things, with no accompanying emotion.
They seem sometimes, In turn, to be
Whollv slims nf rnalinn Tl.l -,,
may be slmpy physical, us Indicated)
in oucn, on, and like Interjections or
pain. It Is oftener more completely
mental, as In sui prise, disgust, dis
may, in impatlerce. Indignation, and
contempt. Such wotds as what," "lie,"
pah, used as signs of these feelings,
so far as we are conscious of their oc
casion, are purely emotional, and unac
companied by any determinate men
tal picture of which they can be properly
The number of words like those just
named, serving solely as signs of feel
ing, Is relatively very small. To these
should be added various other expres
sions, as "beautiful,' "splendid,"
"bravo," occasionally used as interjec
tions, that lose in the stress of feeling
whatever plctorlul quality or dellnite
ness as ideas properly belong to them
as nouns or adjectives. Then there is
a class of some magnitude comprising
terms like "hush," help." murder,"
which retain more or less of their pic
torial dellnlteness as Ideas, while serv
ing for the moment as signs of strong
This last is the transition class be
tween signs of feeling and signs of
ideas. They are not properly signs of
Ideas and feelings together, like the
group of words now to be considered.
They are primarily Idea-words, im
pressed for the nonce Into the service
of exceptional and temporary emotion.
The great mass of words consist pri
marily and chiefly of signs of Ideas,
which yet carry or suggest some kind
t degree of emotion. In strictness, no
name of an object that brings to the
mind's eye a picture of the thing for
which it stands can fail of bringing
also along to consciousness somewhat
of the partiality or the prejudice, or
of the habitual attitude of the mind
toward that object In the case of
"dove," "rabbit," "vampire," "Jackal,"
and ideas similarly at the extremes of
sympathy, we are readily and constant
ly aware that each word not only
means a thing that looks so aw so,
but is so and so In nature. Hence the
sign of the thing is regarded with
somewhat of the feeling that accom
panies contemplation of the thing It
self. Objects that have never been
looked upon with any special predllec
tlon or aversion will of course be pic
or memory of emotion. Yet even names
aa neutral of ordinary emotional Inter
est a h "llatlron," or '-nundaaw" may
take on, under exceptional elrcum
atancea, exceptional aluntllcanct- to tho
HunalbllltU's. One accustomed in boy
hood to use tho handsaw will never
quite lose out of mind the expiilencea
had with It. lmpreaalona had f aome
such thing In abnormal conditions of
tho mind somctlmca haunt the mem
ory, when the objeot la aeon ,or the
name pronounced, In restored mental
health, In sum, It may be alllrmed
that all obJi'i'tH In their last aspects
are potential of some effect to the sen
albliltlca, and that all kinds and de
grees of feeling produced by the pica
enco of objecta thcmaclvcB are moro or
leaa fully reproduced by the worila
serving aa slBna of theao objecta or of
Words, then, havo emotional aa well
aa logical meanings Their emotional
meanings cannot be told by logical
detlnltloua, and are not tobe sought for
In the dictionaries. Uut literature la In
large measure made up of meanlnga
that dlctlonarlea do not give.
Perhaps It will be helpful, at this
point, to teat the fulness of a few dic
tionary detlnltloua. lot ua look up
clover, and autumn, and home In thu
International or the Century, and note
how much of the real meanlnga haa ben
act down. It becomea quickly clear that,
If we are to llnd the power of words,
we must know or study tho things for
which they stand.
In our study of the emotional effecta
of words It will be helpful to recognize
certain classes. Words sometimes make
us know llrst and feel afterwards, some
times make us feel llrst and know after.
Properly they should make us llrat to
know. When we hear the name of any
object mentioned, we proceed to realize
or Identify the meaning by either reviv
ing our acquaintance with that ob
ject, or creating an acquaintance with it
by what we call Imagination. For in
stance, If the word sun Is mentioned, we
llnd ourselves challenged to know or
realize what la meant, and In conse
quence atralghtway discover Hi our
mlnda some representation of the sun
ns we see It In the sky. Here surely we
know llrst, and know by a revival of Im
pressions that have come to us by the
sense of sight. Then comes to con
sciousness somewhat of how It feels to
look at the sun, some sense of Its power
to affect the eyes when one looks at It.
This Is of course a feeling, and the ef
fect of this feeling Is greater than the
ett'ect, which preceded, of the knowing.
We might represent the proportion be
tween these by two parts of a line,
a b c
Let ab represent the effect or the dura
tion of the effect produced by seeing
the mental picture. It will need to be
prolonged to some point like c, to Indi
cate the stronger, or more lasting effect
that now comes from restoring the ex
perience of trying to look at the sun.
If, on the other hand, we examine the
effect of such a word as sting, or throb,
or hoarse, or drowsy, provided we know
It experimentally, we shall note that
we seem to feel first ami know after
wards. In other words, we do not iden
tify the word, as in the llrst case, by a
mental picture of the thing It stands
for, but use the revival of the experience
Instead as our chief means. Our line,
In such case, would be divided much
c b a
The echo of the feelings at some time
had from hoarseness or from being
stung at once possesses us pretty
strongly. This we will Indicate by cb.
The mind, now by dwelling upon the ex
perience, brings to Itself something
more than feeling, and manages to pic
ture somewhat of the cause which or
place where. This extension of the
meaning, which is plainly In the direc
tion of knowing as opposed to feeling,
will be indicated If we prolong our line
to some such point as a.
N'ames of objects familiarly known to
us through the sense of sicht. which
names occasion our seeing at once clear
mental images of the objects named,
and with little consequent effect upon
the sensibilities, we may call conceptual
or prosaic. We may compare, in dia
grams, certain kindred examples. The
Intellectual line lengthens In proportion
to the details brought to mind In the
mental view. The emotional element
will always be In dlcated by the part
of the line marked be or cb.
a b c
stool I 1
aonu'lhlng of which wo havo experi
ential knowledge, has Us major effect
with tho sensibilities and not the In
tellect, will belong to tho new class.
We will call It experlontlal or remin
iscent. It will includo only Buch terms
ua stand for things actually known at
llrat hand by the senaeo or by Inner ex
perience. For example, goad to thoao
who have nevor seen that Instrument
will not bo reminiscent, but aaaocla
tlounl, and will have Us place in a lat
er class. In like manner fright, blame,
neuralgia, whon or If we have exper
ienced each, are experlontlal, It must
he borne In mind that to belong to this
clusa a term munt stand for an exper
ience that Is entirely personal, and not
witnessed or recognized In another.
The following exhibit of examples
grouped aa befojv for moro ready com.
pnrlson should be examined. Then ex
tended lists both of conceptual and of
experiential words, grouped like the ex
hibits Just given, should be carefully
selected and compared,
c b a
(Copyrighted by J. H. Miller.)
TWO TRAINS DAILY
Auburn. Falls City,
Atchison, St. Joseph,
and Kansas City.
City Ticket Office, 1201 0 Street
H. O, TOWSSEHD, Qea'l P. ft T. A.
r. d. c3x,ysL, o. v. ft r. a
The last two groups bring us to the
point of transition between this class
and the one next higher. Words which
make us "feel before we know" by way
Cif rf.vlvlnf In no a ,. AvrtArf fnrf fit.
any sort of word that, representing
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Carnations anil nil llonil work guaran
teed. Decorations a specialty.
FREY & FREY,
The Ewlng Clothing company are the
popular priced clothiers of Lincoln. A
call will convince you. 1115 and 1117 O.
! ...40 cents
Burlington's personally conducted
excursions to Utah and California. A
Pullman tourist sleeping car will leave
Lincoln every Thursday at 12:15 .p.
m. for Denver, Salt Lake, Ogden, San
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for a double berth Lincoln to Los An
geles In one of these cars. Remember
there Is no change of cars. For full In
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olllce, corner Tenth and O streets.
G. W. Bonnell, C. P. & T. A.
iCAVtA 0. nAULMAHKs,
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This space- is rosorvod for II. II. Plorco,
bicycles and" bloy'oio repairs. 141 No.
13th stroot. llultor Ulook.
HAS BEEN RE-OPENED BY
THE MOST CONVENIENT PLACE FOR STUDENTS
OPEN ALL NIGHT.
Oysters and ame in Season.
121 North Eleventh Street.
SHORT ORDERS OUR SPECIALTY. -: GIVE US A TEIAL.
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OPEN AT ALL HOURS DAY OR NIGHT.
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226 So. 1 1th St.--Ground Floor.
Special Xaks to Stubcnts.
30 CENTS OFF.
FOR TEN DAYS Frances Bros, will sell ffil 10
commutation ticKets to the students for 80
cents. We want to introduce our new piece
of business to the TJniversitv students Everv
thing is first class. Our coffee is dilicious
Open all Night. 127 No. 1 1th.
IF YOU KNOWt
that I have
for half soling in the neatest stylo.
tho latest point shoes and up-to-date
styles, it would pay you to brine all
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. . . PRINTER
1115 P Street, Lincoln
Cards, Programs, in
Good Work. PrUcs Bauoaablo.
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