Ogden & Richard’s model

In chapter 4, we talk about verbal messages. I don’t frequently get into Ogden & Richard’s model, which is discussed a great deal on pages 69-71 of the text. But it is an important concept, because we need to understand the relationship of words to the ideas to the objects. That’s what makes this model so critical.

Look closely at the picture below, a more telling graph than the one found in your text.

Ogden & Richards Model for Relationships of Words

Ogden & Richards Model for Relationships of Words

When we look at this, we see that the word leads us to a thought; it stands in for an idea or concept. That thought references an object or item. That item, in turn, is represented by the word. Look at the example provided by your text to better grasp their explanation.

It really is a pretty impressive thing our mind does, when we attach meanings to words. It also reinforces those 4 principles of language outlined in your text:

  • Language is symbolic (it stands for other things)
  • Language is an arbitrary system of symbols (it changes and evolves with time and new information)
  • Language is rule governed (we agree to adhere to “proper” ways of saying things or phrasing words together)
  • Language communicates power (language has influence on others… and us)
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