ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

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

Articles from Vol. 62, No. 1, January

Abstractions
Awareness of abstraction would reduce the number of "why?" questions and "because" answers. Or it would at least make us realize that when we are dealing with whys and becauses we are dealing with interpretations, projections, and opinions and not with...
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A General Semantics Approach to School-Age Bullying
SCHOOL-AGE BULLYING, from elementary to high school, is a major problem not only in America but throughout the world. Research indicates that school-age bullying is not confined to any national, religious, or ethno-cultural group. Statistics show...
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Anti-Spin: Using Internet Resources to Unwind Political Claims
THE RECENT ELECTION broke records in many areas--most first-time voters, most people voting for a winning candidate, most people voting for a losing candidate, probably most money every spent per candidate, etc. This election also enjoyed the participation...
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Calling out the Symbol Rulers
NOTHING ILLUSTRATES the power of symbols and language quite like a presidential election. Of course, those of us who know a little bit of general semantics recognize that this "power" lies not in the words and symbols themselves, but in the motivations,...
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Evaluating with Cartoons
TRYING TO EVALUATE what students know, and how well they can apply what they know of general semantics "rules," seems to belong to a class of testing known as "unsatisfactory." People can understand various aspects of their behavior, but how can we...
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From Linear Myths to Musical Models of Communication
A MODEL IS a simplification. But a model is meant to make clear some underlying dynamics of a complex situation. It fosters metaphors which fit into the model's structures. It is also helpful if the model can be diagrammed visually. Our texbooks...
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General Semantics and Public Speaking: Perspectives on Rhetoric Comparing Aristotle, Hitler, and Korzybski
THERE ARE MANY WAYS of looking at human behavior. As a result we may have "many psychologies," rather than "one psychology." The same is true of geometry. Euclid's way of looking at the patterns and forms of measurement is but one along with the geometries...
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Our Lives as a Complex of Rhythms
IN OUR EVERYDAY activities and relationships, we often think and act as if things don't change. We think of 'things' as staying basically the same, not as 'objects,' 'things,' 'situations,' and 'persons' at a date, as stages in a process, etc. General...
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Political Conventions, Images, and Spin
September 2, 2004 THE POLITICAL CONVENTIONS have not served any real substantive purpose in the democratic process for years. By the time they roll around, we already know who the candidates of the two parties will be. The platforms of the parties...
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Retrospect
One of the foremost authorities of our time in the field of psychological warfare has written a volume of extraordinary interest to students of semantics. And Mr. Barrett's qualifications are exceptional: he has served as one of the editors of Newsweek,...
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Semantics and the 2004 Election
I'm now sorry I did not send Bush and Kerry copies of George Orwell's "Politics and the English Language." It would not have changed the election results, but, if they and their handlers had read it, it might have provided a more enlightened public...
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Short-Circuiting Achievement and Performance with Elementalistic Pseudo-Bifurcation
NOT LONG AGO, a student e-mailed my supervisor to complain that I had unfairly given a failing grade, although the student had attended every class and had repeated three of the tests. Effort alone, the student claimed, should earn a passing grade....
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The Medium Is the Moblog
MOBLOGGING, a blend of the words mobile and weblogging, involves using a PDA or cell phone camera "in the field" to post words and pictures to a personal or business web site. Based on an inherently nomadic medium, moblogging merges the instantaneousness...
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Time-Binding in the Information Age
MANY (if not most) businesses (by this author's estimation) are using organizational structures and management approaches that are not well suited for today's (circa 2005) business challenges. The author has suffered through such organizations for...
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What's in a Name?
To people with an understanding of general semantics, polarized thinking qualifies as simplistic, even counter-productive. The use of labeling falls into the same category. Political terms that suffer from both shortcomings warrant some changes, therefore,...
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Wikipedia and the Disappearing "Author"
WHAT DOES it mean to author a piece of writing? For many generations, humans inscribed clay tablets and recorded information on papyrus but only rarely included their own names in the documents they produced. Many of the most famous works of antiquity...
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