The Meaning of Hobbits

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[page i] THE MEANING of HOBBITS by Dan Alderson Recently I began reading _The Measurement of Meaning_ (Osgood, Suci, and Tannenbaum ... University of Illinois Press) and discovered that mankind has done it again. We no longer have to turn to Webster to discern the meaning of a word, we can now plot it on a chart. Unfortunately, to get an accurate reading there must be a significant number of test cases to plot the chart against. This then is your chance to Aid Science. We have decided that it would be a Worthwhile Project and a Significant Advance if we were to plot the meaning of Hobbits. Actually, capital letters aside, the basic research on this subject is pretty fascinating. The test is called a "semantic differential", and is designed to measure the meaning or significance of concepts. The end product is an analysis of the factors used in evaluating the concepts as well as the relative and absolute values actually assigned to each concept. The overall results will be published, and anyone who would like to see his individual "semantic space" can add a note to that effect to the end of the test. Signing your name to this is up to you, we are interested, but not really nosy. The mechanics of taking the test are simple. You have the test sheets, which have a series of scales and adjective pairs. You must write in the concept above the scale, and then rate each concept by each adjective pair. There are seven spaces between the adjectives, you will mark the central space if the adjectives have no relationship to the concept, or are equally related to the concept. The three spaces approaching the adjective are to be checked if the concept is ... slightly ... quite closely ... or extremely closely related to the concept. The space next to the adjective for the strongest relationship and so on out. For the completests we have a sample test space below dirty _ _ _ _ _ _ _ clean cool _ _ _ _ _ _ _ warm fair _ _ _ _ _ _ _ unfair deep _ _ _ _ _ _ _ shallow idealistic _ _ _ _ _ _ _ realistic active _ _ _ _ _ _ _ passive strong _ _ _ _ _ _ _ weak safe _ _ _ _ _ _ _ dangerous relaxed _ _ _ _ _ _ _ tense wise _ _ _ _ _ _ _ foolish We don't really need this sheet back. We do need the accompanying sheets, and we can only hope the conpletests will give us a break. The concepts are: Hobbit, Frodo, Shire, Bilbo, Gandalf, Merry, Hobbit Hole, Buckland, Adventure, Pippin, Mathom, Gollum, Bree, Sam, and The Ring Please check each and every scale for each concept only once. Please, also, place your marks in the spaces, and not between them, we will have enough labor evaluating them as it is. [page ii] dirty _ _ _ _ _ _ _ clean cool _ _ _ _ _ _ _ warm fair _ _ _ _ _ _ _ unfair deep _ _ _ _ _ _ _ shallow idealistic _ _ _ _ _ _ _ realistic active _ _ _ _ _ _ _ passive strong _ _ _ _ _ _ _ weak safe _ _ _ _ _ _ _ dangerous relaxed _ _ _ _ _ _ _ tense wise _ _ _ _ _ _ _ foolish dirty _ _ _ _ _ _ _ clean cool _ _ _ _ _ _ _ warm fair _ _ _ _ _ _ _ unfair deep _ _ _ _ _ _ _ shallow idealistic _ _ _ _ _ _ _ realistic active _ _ _ _ _ _ _ passive strong _ _ _ _ _ _ _ weak safe _ _ _ _ _ _ _ dangerous relaxed _ _ _ _ _ _ _ tense wise _ _ _ _ _ _ _ foolish dirty _ _ _ _ _ _ _ clean cool _ _ _ _ _ _ _ warm fair _ _ _ _ _ _ _ unfair deep _ _ _ _ _ _ _ shallow idealistic _ _ _ _ _ _ _ realistic active _ _ _ _ _ _ _ passive strong _ _ _ _ _ _ _ weak safe _ _ _ _ _ _ _ dangerous relaxed _ _ _ _ _ _ _ tense wise _ _ _ _ _ _ _ foolish dirty _ _ _ _ _ _ _ clean cool _ _ _ _ _ _ _ warm fair _ _ _ _ _ _ _ unfair deep _ _ _ _ _ _ _ shallow idealistic _ _ _ _ _ _ _ realistic active _ _ _ _ _ _ _ passive strong _ _ _ _ _ _ _ weak safe _ _ _ _ _ _ _ dangerous relaxed _ _ _ _ _ _ _ tense wise _ _ _ _ _ _ _ foolish

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