ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

This quarterly journal provides peer-reviewed articles on topics relating to general semantics.

Articles from Vol. 66, No. 4, October

Amoozin' but Confoozin': Comic Strips as a Voice of Dissent in the 1950s
We will all go together when we go, all suffused with an incandescent glow ... When the air becomes uranious, we will all go simultaneous ... And we'll all go together when we go. --Tom Lehrer (1959) American children born in the 1960s grew up...
Before Media Education Gets to School: Understanding Adolescence and Education
Discussing stereotypes applied to young people, eleventh-grader Alex,1 a petite Latina who lives in the South Bronx, debates the labels attached to suburban kids--rambunctious, energetic--versus urban kids--criminals, gang members--and concludes that...
Beyond Electronics: A Speculation on a New Media Age
It is the general perception and concomitant consensus that on this planet we live in the so-called "electronic age." In print and electronic media the era we live in is also referred to as the "age of information." The first definition of the age...
Dates and Indexes
IGS Board secretary Vanessa Biard-Schaeffer conducted a GS workshop in October at the Irish Cultural Center in Paris. Participants in that workshop spent an afternoon receiving an introduction to general semantics through diverse exercises and games....
Examining Ten Commonly Accepted Verbal Maps of American History
There is an analogy in general semantics that words and statements are like maps that describe territories. The purpose of the analogy is to remind us that words, like maps, only represent reality and are not reality itself (the map is not the territory)....
General Semantics ... Vast ... Great in Extent or Range
Korzybski's great legacy to the human race is his "general semantics"--a system introduced in his seminal books Manhood of Humanity (1921) and Science and Sanity (1933). In general semantics, Korzybski proposed a general theory of sanity involving...
How to Be Less Wrong More Often
If you suffer with the popular neurosis of needing to be right as often as possible--or, less neurotically, if you want to be less wrong more often--here's a trick from general semantics that will help get you there. Speak Probabilistically In...
I Get Seized by a Metaphor
It happened over thirty years ago. But I remember it clearly. I was looking at a diagram I had drawn. I had charted out the periods of history of various cultures, following the diagram in the back of a famous book by Oswald Spengler, The Decline of...
Misbehavior in Mediated Places: Situational Proprieties and Communication Environments
Abstract: Goffman's notions about situational proprieties, such as the rule of "fitting in," can help us understand misbehavior in mediated situations, such as those involving the Internet or cell phones, communication environments that offer new modes...
On the Roots of Teaching and Learning
Early in my Hebrew language education, I learned that the root of the word for teach/learn [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] coincided with that for the goad, specifically the one used to prod cattle. Then I found out that another teaching-related family...
Poetry Ring
Few topics are more central to the discipline of general semantics than language, specifically what language does for us, and what language does to us. And it is a commonplace to say that language and, more generally, the capacity for symbolic communication,...
Small Behavior, Big Change: Changing the World One Behavior at a Time
Students often view an interpersonal communication course and its study of symbolic interaction as an opportunity to discuss their own relationships and experiences without the expectation of or interest in learning the theories and concepts that are...
Statist Language
News reports commonly include statements such as "the U.S. today announced" or "China reacted." Such statements can be misleading, sometimes seriously so. It is a long-standing convention that the name of a country refers to its government or some...
The View from My Window
Windows make up most of the north wall of my front room, old-style windows broken up into 12 X 9 inch panes. Because my house rests on a part of the town I live in that slopes gently down to the ocean, it lies above my neighbor's house so that my window...