ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

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

Articles from Vol. 66, No. 3, July

A Deck of Cards
I was rummaging around my office the other day when I stumbled upon a deck of cards. It's a deck I try to keep hidden. In the past, I have tried to throw it away or destroy it; but it keeps reappearing. I use it to stifle debate. We all have such a...
A General Semantics Approach to Homosexuality
A major practical value of general semantics is its usefulness for evaluating hot-button issues. One such issue is homosexuality. Though awareness of this condition has existed throughout the ages, it has been at various times quietly accepted and...
A General Semantics Approach to the Red Badge of Courage
Though many interpretations of Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage have been suggested, no one, to my knowledge, has analyzed the novel using the principles, ideas, concepts, etc., of general semantics. By studying the novel within the context...
Benjamin Franklin: A Time-Binder Extraordinaire
Time-binding is a general semantics formulation that involves the characteristic ability of human beings to use language and other symbols to transmit information across time, which allows each generation the opportunity to pass on useful knowledge...
Conversational Coolers and Warmers
In the little-seen but critically praised 2003 movie, The Cooler, Bernie Lootz (played by William H. Macy) is the quintessential loser: he is estranged from his son and is all alone and recently his marriage fell apart and his cat died. Whatever Bernie...
Dates and Indexes
We have recently received a bequest from Victor Kay, an IGS member from California, of approximately $460,000. Mr. Kay was a member of the International Society for General Semantics for many years and valued GS as an important discipline in promoting...
General Semantics vs. "The Entire Western System of Rationalizations"
In 1988, at the International Conference on General Semantics held at Yale University, Allen Walker Read (1906 2002) invited me to tell the other participants "What I Have Done to Language." In this paper, I tell what I have done with, to, and for...
In Defense of Teaching "Outdated" Material
We all know that Euclidean geometry does not adequately explain the space in which we live. Our world is not that of the plane, as found in Edward Abbott's Flatland. Why, then, is Euclidean geometry still taught in schools? I suggest that without an...
Is the Laptop a Musical Instrument? or, What's Old Is New Again, and Vice Versa
One night in April 2008, during two sets at The Jazz Standard, a leading New York City jazz spot, master jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas clearly demonstrated there's not one part of the instrument's range he can't call up with precision at a moment's notice....
Poetry Ring
For this issue's Poetry Ring, we have decided to forgo the usual theme and, instead, present you with poetry for poetry's sake. Alfred Korzybski, in his discussion of higher-order abstractions in Science and Sanity, notes that the terms that are most...
Shakespeare's Words: Quotes, Misquotes, and Lost Contexts
Shakespeare was a playwright and a poet. But he was not a preacher, though he is often mistaken for one. His long-time position as the writer whose words fall second only to the Bible in English letters has led to a misplaced reverence for his words,...
The Day Michael Jackson Died
When it came up that Michael Jackson had been rushed to the hospital, I was sitting at my computer. Thinking it would turn out just as the recent Heidi Montag story did when she was rushed to the hospital during some celebrity reality show in Costa...
Thoughts on Space, Time, Awareness, and [Difference.Sup.2008]
In this essay, I propose that Korzybski's general semantics principle "nonidentity" expresses a fundamental feature of Universe, human existence, and evaluations, including "epistemology." "Non-identity" can be considered a scientific theory (testable)...
Tolkiens of My Affection
The title that I have taken for this paper is something of a pun, as the name Tolkien is frequently mispronounced as Tolkehn, and when written out looks like the word token. No doubt Professor J. R. R. Tolkien would have been able to explain the linguistic...