ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

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

Articles from Vol. 54, No. 3, Fall

A General Semantics Glossary
If he contend, as sometimes he will contend, that he has defined all his terms and proved all his propositions, then either he is a performer of logical miracles or he is an ass; and, as you know, logical miracles are impossible. Cassius Jackson Keyser...
Foundations of a Theory of Decision Making
Introduction I delivered the piece below on June 22, 1951, at the opening session of the University of Chicago conference on general semantics cosponsored by the International Society for General Semantics. Francis P. Chisholm, author of Introductory...
General Semantics Is Not "About" General Semantics
Often students of general semantics get bogged down by the high order abstractions of its principles and formulations; they become quite skilled in the grammar, logic, and semantics of general semantics, and pay scant attention to the pragmatics and...
"It Ain't Necessarily So."
One of the bad language habits we can fall into is that we sometimes believe something is so just because we say it is so. To put it another way, we use words to declare something to be the "truth." It's got to be what we say it is! And, then, we proceed...
Language Boundaries and Discourse Stability: 'Tagging' as a Form of Graffiti Spanning International Borders
The "thou" is older than the "I." - Friedrich Nietzsche There is nowhere anything lasting, neither outside me, nor within me, but only incessant change. I nowhere know of any being, not even my own. There is no being. I "myself" know nothing and am...
Metaphors by the Seashore
A vacation at the seashore is a time to relax, unwind, and maybe get a new slant on life. On two recent stays at the shore, I found myself reflecting on metaphor in new ways: once when contemplating the bridges of the Chesapeake Bay, and once when I...
Pain Management
The phone rang Friday afternoon, October 28th, 1983. It rang again Thursday morning, February 20, 1997. The first call came from a neighbor's daughter and brought news about firemen battling a fire at my home. The second call came from a police officer...
The Semantics of Death and Dying: Metaphor and Mortality
In his The Encheiridion or "Handbook," stoic philosopher Epictetus speaks repeatedly of the importance of keeping death and dying in one's consciousness. Being aware of the reality of death is emphasized by Epictetus, who suggests that the individual,...
To Exercise the Verbals
Among the many projects pursued by writers of "modernist" tendencies, from Zola and Joyce to today's Richard Ford and Nicholson Baker, we can discern a few tasks as primary. These include the authentic rendition of the flow of experience and the revelation...
When I Say 'Preposition,' What Do You Think Of?
Did you notice that the title of this article ends in a preposition? Does that bother you? My inspiration for this piece comes from "John Smith" (this point of disagreement does not warrant publishing his name), a brilliant, articulate radio talk show...