ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

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

Articles from Vol. 51, No. 2, Summer

A General Semantics Glossary (Part VIII)
extensional orientation as orientation. Throughout his system Korzybski emphasizes the importance of orientation, understood as a sort of compass-equipped platform, an enwrapping point of view and attitude from which and out of which we humans do our...
Bats, Bugs and Kinip: Experiencing the Concept of Connotation
STUDENTS OFTEN have a difficult time understanding the concept of connotation or connotative value. According to one common explanation, "connotation refers to the feelings or evaluations associated with the word." What feeling and evaluation mean often...
Educated for What?
THE NONMATHEMATICIANS I've talked to seem surprised to learn that the entire 1992-93 school-year crop of math PhDs in the United States, although up 14% from 1991-92, still amounted to just 1,202 souls. They are further surprised to learn that, as reported...
Eleven Ways of Looking at the Gulf War
IT WAS General "Stormin' Norman" Schwartzkopf, who said that "war is the most complex thing in the world." And the Gulf war was, in many respects, an incredible achievement. The military transported the equivalent of a good sized city to the Gulf, our...
Freedom, Fun and Fundamentals: Defining Digital Progress in a Democratic Society
Nicholas Johnson: It's a privilege, actually, to be asked to even attend this conference, let alone to speak at it, and I'm delighted to be here. Some of you may have noticed from the promotional literature that you received that while I teach at the...
Humility: A Survival Tool
"The word is not the thing." Alfred Korzybski IN TODAY'S bottom line, results-oriented society, the idea of humility goes against the grain. We see ourselves as competitive, hard-working, hard-playing, well-informed, and healthily aggressive. Humility?...
Our Computational Culture: From Descartes to the Computer
We, all of us, have made the world too much into a computer, and...this remaking of the world in the image of the computer started long before there were any electronic computers. Joseph Weizenbaum, Computer Power and Human Reason, p. ix. HISTORICALLY,...
Post(modern)man, or Neil Postman as a Postmodernist
As A FORMER student of Neil Postman's, I want to acknowledge the debt that I and many others owe to him as an educator. I would add that in the fourteen years that I have known him, very little of what I have heard him say might be categorized as crazy...
The Cyberspace Metaphor
EACH DAY AT WORK, I buy my lunch with the help of a computer network. Rather than pay cash, I use a card with a magnetic strip. After the cashier has entered my culinary choices into her computer-cash register, she "swipes" my card through a special...
The Web and the Spaceship: Metaphors of the Environment
METAPHOR HELPS SHAPE the way we view the world and it empowers human responses to the variety of issues confronting human existence. Whether helping us conceive of ourselves as part of an interconnected web, or as subject to the explosive force of the...
Warum Sagen Sie das Fraulein?
ONE ASPECT OF general semantics and language studies that I find particularly significant is the Whorf Hypothesis. Benjamin Lee Whorf studied several American Indian languages and noted that they were structurally quite unlike English and other Indo-European...
What's Pure?
pure: adj 1a: not mixed with anything else (pure gold) b: free from dust, dirt or taint (pure food). Webster's New Encyclopedic Dictionary (1993) "Thunder is a rich source of loudness." From "Lime is a Green Tasting Rock"; a collection of Youngsterisms,"...