ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

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

Articles from Vol. 60, No. 4, Winter

Abstractions
Detection is, or ought to be, an exact science, and should be treated in the same cold and unemotional manner. You have attempted to tinge it with romanticism, which produces much the same effect as if you had worked a love story or elopement into...
Alfred Korzybski
In 1976, I was appointed editor of ETC: The Journal of General Semantics. For ten years, I served in that capacity, and with each passing year, my respect for Alfred Korzybski increased and my respect for those academics who kept themselves and their...
An Organizational Update
IN THE FALL 2003 issue of ETC, we reported on the organizational situation concerning the Institute of General Semantics and the International Society for General Semantics, that "a formal plan for merger is before the boards of both organizations."...
But Names Can Also Hurt Them
FIVE MONTHS AGO my third baby was born and within days of our coming home from the hospital, everyone from my maiden aunt to the milkman had asked me: "Is he a good baby?" My standing retort, in each case, was a polite-as-possible, "Well, just what...
ETC (Volume I, Number 1) Revisited
THE FIRST ISSUE of any publication interests us for a variety of reasons. It allows us a glimpse of the focus and direction of its originators, it sets the tone for ensuing issues, and if the publication survives for a while, it provides a time-binding...
Fifty Years Ago in ETC
The mainspring of creativity appears to be the same tendency which we discover so deeply as the curative force in psychotherapy--man's tendency to actualize himself, to become his potentialities. By this I mean the directional trend which is evident...
General Semantics at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention
Gregg Hoffmann, Andrea Johnson, Katherine Liepe-Levinson and Steve Stockdale represented general semantics at the annual convention for the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) held in San Francisco November 21-23, 2003. They presented a...
Glimpse[.Sup.Winter 2003-2004]
"Facts as we see them are little more than quick glimpses of a ceaseless transformation ..."--Wendell Johnson, People in Quandaries Breaking Down Elementalism Scientists have detected a neurological signal that occurs in the brain when a human...
How Neil Postman Changed My Life
MANY OF US have that one person in our lives who changed everything. For me it was Neil Postman, a professor and author who died in October, 2003. Here's how it happened for me with Neil. I was about three years into my college teaching career and...
Is Thalidomide "Good" or "Bad"?
IT WOULD BE CONVENIENT if all that stuff Out There could be classified simply as "good" or "bad." But reality doesn't work that way; people hold varied opinions on what's good or bad. Particularly difficult is an item which is good in some ways but...
Neil Postman, Defender of the Word
NEIL POSTMAN(1931-2003) died on Sunday, October 5th, 2003, at the age of 72, after battling lung cancer for almost two years. His contributions, as a scholar, teacher, and public intellectual, enriched many different fields of study, including semantics,...
Social Capital-Metaphor or Oxymoron?
I WAS STANDING in line for a church dinner a few years ago, and started talking to the gentleman next to me. He had just retired as an academic, but was continuing work on his research projects. And what was he researching? "Social capital," he told...
The Structural Differential Diagram: Part V Sawin's Elaboration
The Time Factor ON APRIL 26, 1983, I created an elaboration of the structural differential that illustrates a "third dimension" for noticing differences--I call this dimension the "time factor." This elaboration changes the structural differential...
The Twelfth International Conference on General Semantics
LAS VEGAS -- No world conflicts seemed to be resolved in Las Vegas, Oct. 31-Nov. 2, but presenters did raise some stimulating points in their papers at the Twelfth International Conference on General Semantics. "Confronting the Challenges of Conflicting...
Using the Structural Differential as a Mnemonic to Teach Literary Theory
IN THE SUMMER 2003 ETC, I offered the case for metaphoric eclecticism when I suggested that we continue to look for new uses for classic theoretical constructs, including Alfred Korzybski's structural differential. As D. David Bourland, Jr., noted,...
What If Dictionaries Had Sponsors?
THE OWNERS of the Superlative Dictionary Company met to discuss impending bankruptcy. "We can't pay our loan," moaned founder Pop Aabab, who soon after coming to America had changed his name to appear first in the phone book. "People don't buy...
What We Do with Language-What It Does with Us
APARTICULAR VIEW of language relates to the applied, evaluational approach of general semantics. Language is intertwined with behavior, consciousness, etc. It has a neurological base; that is, language doesn't exist entirely separately from nervous...