Language in Thought and Action

Language in Thought and Action PDF/EPUB Ï Language in


Language in Thought and Action [Read] ➬ Language in Thought and Action ➵ S.I. Hayakawa – Polishdarling.co.uk In an era when communication has become increasingly diverse and complex, this classic work on semantics now fully revised and updated distills the relationship between language and those who use it R Thought and PDF Ë In an era when communication has become increasingly diverse and complex, Language in Kindle - this classic work on semantics now fully revised and updated distills the in Thought and ePUB ✓ relationship between language and those who use it Renowned professor and former US Senator S I Hayakawa discusses the role of language in human life, the many functions of language, and how language sometimes without our knowing shapes our thinking in this engaging and highly respected book Provocative and erudite, it examines the relationship between language and racial and religious prejudice the nature and dangers of advertising from a linguistic point of view and, in an additional chapter called The Empty Eye, the content, form, and hidden message of television, from situation comedies to news coverage to political advertising.

    Download Book Best Sellers in PDF format professor and former US Senator S I Hayakawa discusses the role of language in human life, the many functions of language, and how language sometimes without our knowing shapes our thinking in this engaging and highly respected book Provocative and erudite, it examines the relationship between language and racial and religious prejudice the nature and dangers of advertising from a linguistic point of view and, in an additional chapter called The Empty Eye, the content, form, and hidden message of television, from situation comedies to news coverage to political advertising."/>
  • Paperback
  • 224 pages
  • Language in Thought and Action
  • S.I. Hayakawa
  • English
  • 20 July 2019

10 thoughts on “Language in Thought and Action

  1. Dave Dave says:

    Linguistics schlinguistics this is also a book about politics and public policy Language in Thought and ACTION , and the best one about either subject that I ve ever read It gives me hope that there is possibility for greater cooperation among us all, despite all of our real and,importantly, perceived differences Yeah, there s a lot of common sense in there, but it s put in a framework that makes it much easier to identify and understand how others are speaking or thinking.I suppose Linguistics schlinguistics this is also a book about politics and public policy Language in Thought and ACTION , and the best one about either subject that I ve ever read It gives me hope that there is possibility for greater cooperation among us all, despite all of our real and,importantly, perceived differences Yeah, there s a lot of common sense in there, but it s put in a framework that makes it much easier to identify and understand how others are speaking or thinking.I suppose an important message from the book is that by understanding when someone is speaking emotionally or misabstracting or whatever, you, as a listener, should be able to identify that and not take their words as literal, and maybe try to understand what they REALLY mean and eventually hold hands around the campfire and sing Kumbaya since by that point you ve gone on together to solve all the world s problems For me however, it just meant for the first couple years after reading this book, I wanted to tell anyone who overgeneralized that were on the wrong rung of the abstraction ladder.It s the only book I d give the should be required reading seal of approval

  2. Nick Nick says:

    Wow This was great Answers such questions as, why do we have language at all How do words and the things words represent get mixed up by our brain How does all of this impact our lives, and our civilizations Perhaps I m just new to reading about semantics, but I found the book s subject matter highly engrossing.Along the way it also systemizes a lot of common sense notions of language Admitting my ignorance of Wittgenstein, this sounds a lot like him The book also reminded me of the Black Wow This was great Answers such questions as, why do we have language at all How do words and the things words represent get mixed up by our brain How does all of this impact our lives, and our civilizations Perhaps I m just new to reading about semantics, but I found the book s subject matter highly engrossing.Along the way it also systemizes a lot of common sense notions of language Admitting my ignorance of Wittgenstein, this sounds a lot like him The book also reminded me of the Black Swan by Nassim Taleb because its very readable, results oriented, empirical, and the author is direct about what level of abstraction he is working at and cares about such things as levels of abstraction.Its also kind of dated in terms of the technological and cultural references which could be a positive or a negative positive for me One negative was that he occasionallytowards the second section interjects his political beliefs into it as though they were the default reasonable position he is a moderate authoritarian leftist american democrat He also encourages the reader to be extremely skeptical and analytical about political language, but sometimes implies that those who reject his own ideas are basically just playing language games This was annoying, but not annoying enough to steal 5 stars from this book

  3. Steph Steph says:

    p 19The first of the principles governing symbols is this The symbol is not the thing symbolized the word is not the thing the map is not the territory it stands for.p 21We all inherit a great deal of useless knowledge, and a great deal of misinformation and error, so that there is always a portion of what we have been told that must be discarded It should be noticed that there are three ways of getting false maps of the world into our heads first, by having them given to us second, by mak p 19The first of the principles governing symbols is this The symbol is not the thing symbolized the word is not the thing the map is not the territory it stands for.p 21We all inherit a great deal of useless knowledge, and a great deal of misinformation and error, so that there is always a portion of what we have been told that must be discarded It should be noticed that there are three ways of getting false maps of the world into our heads first, by having them given to us second, by making them up for ourselves by misreading true maps third, by constructing them ourselves by misreading territories But the cultural heritage that is transmitted to us our socially pooled knowledge, both scientific and humane, has been valued principally because we believe that it gives us accurate maps of experience.p 130 131To attempt to converse in this way is to make all our social contacts occasions for what we have earlier called the pooling of knowledge We can, if we are able to listen as well as to speak, become better informed and wiser as we grow older instead of being stuck, like some people, with the same little bundle of prejudices at sixty five that we had at twenty five.Statements made in everyday conversation, even if based on slipshod inferences and hasty over generalizations, can usually be found to have some modest degree of truth value To find the needle of meaning in the haystacks of nonsense that the other fellow is talking is to learn something, even from the apparently prejudiced and uninformed And if the other fellow is equally patient about looking for the needle of meaning in our haystacks of nonsense, he may learn something from us Ultimately, all civilized life depends upon the willingness on the part of all of us to learn as well as to teach To delay one s reactions and to be able to say Tell me , and then to listen before reacting p159If pictures give television its power, excessive reliance on them constitutes its weakness Television news focuses on things it can easily symbolize visually, at the expense of things that are harder to depict A few homeless people or a family being evicted can be televised to depict the larger problems of housing shortages and homelessness, but it s hard to televise houses not being built, rents increasing, or employment declining It s easy to televise motorists in a gasoline line but hard to televise a national strategy for lessening dependence on imported oil The visual aspect of television, adept at specifics, has trouble climbing back up the abstraction ladder to levels of greater generality and applicability

  4. Sukhneet Singh Virk Sukhneet Singh Virk says:

    Language in Thought and Action shifted my thought process in so many ways.I m able to extract muchquality information from conversations than ever before.An example of what you learn we get information 2 ways, direct experience extensional and everything else verbal Extensional info gives us a VERY limited view of the world I have no way of knowing Obama is a real person, that South America exists, or becoming a billionaire is a possibility.I learn about those things through verbal Language in Thought and Action shifted my thought process in so many ways.I m able to extract muchquality information from conversations than ever before.An example of what you learn we get information 2 ways, direct experience extensional and everything else verbal Extensional info gives us a VERY limited view of the world I have no way of knowing Obama is a real person, that South America exists, or becoming a billionaire is a possibility.I learn about those things through verbal info articles, videos, talking to people, news, books, associative memory, etcVerbal info is like a map that gives us an understanding of the real world When we re equipped with accurate maps, we re prepared for living asuccessful life and reaching our goals When we have an inaccurate map, that s when we run into trouble.And we get inaccurate maps all the time Stories of success coming to those who are passionate , that a toothpaste will make our teeth whiter, or that all we need iswillpower to succeed.Balanced biographies, scientific method, and approaching problems with a curious mindset all give us muchaccurate maps to navigate our lives.Every time I crack this book open it expands my understanding of things I never used to pay attention to.Must read for anyone interested in improving their thought process and their lives.Rating system I m interested in books that describe underlying patterns and apply to all aspects of daily living EX a book about language applies everyday and opens up your eyes to many new things.1 star I m surprised I finished it Will encourage people not to read at all.2 star Got some value out of it but not actively recommending.3 star Great book and you should read it if you ve got some interest in it I m glad I read it but most likely won t read it again.4 star Excellent book that you need to read if it touches on your interest Will recommend to others and maybe read again.5 star Everyone should read this book I recommend it to others regularly and may buy a few copies to hand out Will read again

  5. Erik Graff Erik Graff says:

    I read a library copy of this book in high school, probably on assignment from my senior English teacher, Mr Silkowski It was the first book I d ever read on communication theory and semantics other than Marshall McLuhan and it left far less of an impression, perhaps because it had been assigned by a teacher I didn t particularly like rather than recommended by an older friend whom I admired The notion of General Semantics, however, I did find intriguing.

  6. Kelly Kelly says:

    This is one of the most enlightening books I have ever read Hayakawa is the kind of incredibly bright mind whose writing can make you thinkmethodically, conclude thingsconfidently, and feel smarter yourself Somehow he seems like a friend at tea but his observations are so clear that you wonder how he can outside enough to notice all this, and inside enough to feel familiar and patient and maybe kind Thus, this non fiction book was far, farof a page turner for me than most This is one of the most enlightening books I have ever read Hayakawa is the kind of incredibly bright mind whose writing can make you thinkmethodically, conclude thingsconfidently, and feel smarter yourself Somehow he seems like a friend at tea but his observations are so clear that you wonder how he can outside enough to notice all this, and inside enough to feel familiar and patient and maybe kind Thus, this non fiction book was far, farof a page turner for me than most books of fiction that I ve read and liked lately If he has a moral message it is unobtrusive, unassuming, and the kind of lesson that any reader who s heard any of what he s said simply must draw for herself Come to think of it, he argues rather like lawyers should so that the conclusion the author desires, never once spoken, is inevitable, obvious in the silence after the speech Hayakawa compares any use of language to the practice of drawing a map of a physical territory Depending on how good the mapmaker is and his motivations, that map can resemble the territory very reliably, or not at all And from this simple metaphor he draws an impeccably conscientious account of the kind of things we do when we use language, and the implications for us as actors in the world Someday I hope to have read it enough times that I can hold all the concepts in my head at once and provide something like a summary but until then all I can say is thatthan one of Hayakawa s descriptions rang true for me in a way that clarified things about myself and my world that I d always suspected emotionally, but never been able to articulate I think this book should be required reading in schools I think we should all take courses on how we use language, why we use it those ways, what it says about us that we do, and especially how our ways of using language affect our ways of thinking and, ultimately experiencing and behaving in the world

  7. Matthew Brown Matthew Brown says:

    Language in Thought and Action is one of the most insightful books I ve read to date Hayakawa masterfully distills how we use one of the most basic human mechanisms words and the avalanche of implications that follows I can only wonder whether Hayakawa knew how ahead of his time he was when he authored this book as the lessons and themes within apply to an even greater degree now than they did when the first edition was released If you are in search of a deeper understanding of the use an Language in Thought and Action is one of the most insightful books I ve read to date Hayakawa masterfully distills how we use one of the most basic human mechanisms words and the avalanche of implications that follows I can only wonder whether Hayakawa knew how ahead of his time he was when he authored this book as the lessons and themes within apply to an even greater degree now than they did when the first edition was released If you are in search of a deeper understanding of the use and symbolism of language, look no further Hayakawa provides a map leading the way to critical thought and effective communication This book should be required reading for all, but especially for those with the responsibility of sharing information via mass media If nothing else, the perspective put forward in this book should serve to sharpen the lens from which you view the world around you

  8. Leslie Leslie says:

    This book is an interesting, concise, and well written book about linguistics, particularly semantics It particularly deals with how we know what we know, and how we frequently systematically misunderstand or miscommunicate because of limitations of language or our use of language for conveying what we mean In many ways, it is about the evolution of prejudice in individual minds as a consequence of confusing levels of abstraction, so that Pigs are dirty implies that Hampton is dirty beca This book is an interesting, concise, and well written book about linguistics, particularly semantics It particularly deals with how we know what we know, and how we frequently systematically misunderstand or miscommunicate because of limitations of language or our use of language for conveying what we mean In many ways, it is about the evolution of prejudice in individual minds as a consequence of confusing levels of abstraction, so that Pigs are dirty implies that Hampton is dirty because Hampton is a pig, even though Hampton has always demonstrated excellent hygiene The problem is that Hampton is a specific pig, being observed at a specific time, and is at a different level of abstraction than pig in general or even farm animal or animal or all kinds of other categories you could put him into Even if my whole experience of pigs leads me to believe they are dirty, my experience remains limited, and I may err in applying the trait to Hampton Unwillingness to let Hampton be clean is a prejudice related to cognitive inflexibility often related to the inability to see different levels of abstraction for what they are The characteristic metaphor here is that maps levels of abstraction fail to correspond to territories He details the differences between reports, inferences, and judgments, which are easily confused, at times with significant consequences.The book does not entirely dwell on the negative It has interesting discussions of the ways we use talk ritually In such instances, the words have little to do with what is communicated, or why the words are said These analyses are well done and instructive.Towards the end of the book, Hayakawa turns from describing thebasic aspects of representing information to the ways certain systems of representation such as television change our perspective and understanding in ways that might not be desirable He describes the effects of television on advertising, human motivation, and politics He ends with a discussion of cultural lag, which is a sociological term for the continued existence of obsolete institutional habits and forms The characteristic metaphor is having horse and buggy ways living as though one s social conventions were appropriate even though technological and social advancement have changed the entire landscape for social interaction

  9. Nathan Hatch Nathan Hatch says:

    Why I liked itI highly recommend the chapters Reports and Affective Communication The former gives good advice for objective writing, i.e writing in such a way that pretty much everyone will agree with you The latter is a highly insightful survey of literary devices what they do, why they work You might like reading those chapters even if you don t read the rest of the book.The idea of the abstraction ladder rings true It s one of those concepts that you might not notice until someon Why I liked itI highly recommend the chapters Reports and Affective Communication The former gives good advice for objective writing, i.e writing in such a way that pretty much everyone will agree with you The latter is a highly insightful survey of literary devices what they do, why they work You might like reading those chapters even if you don t read the rest of the book.The idea of the abstraction ladder rings true It s one of those concepts that you might not notice until someone points it out to you, but after learning about it you can find applications for it everywhere Being aware of the levels of abstraction of words being used will help with effective and efficient communication.The book is eye opening in so many little ways the absurdity of speech itself extremely complicated systems of sputtering, hissing, gurgling, clucking, and cooing noises how much of our non verbal behavior is symbolic as opposed to strictly practical e.g the clothes we wear, the food we eat how much linguistic communication is actually devoid of informational value e.g small talk, advertising how ceremonial, legal, religious, etc communication directive language often uses unusual words and structure to impress upon its consumers the importance of the occasion in order to get them to behave in certain waysWhy I didn t like itMuch of the book is structured around a fundamental division of meaning into extensional real world and intensional inside the mind Something about this classification feels wrong to me, perhaps because, in a sense, even real world objects exist only inside the mind This philosophizing may seem like splitting hairs, but there s a lot of epistemology in this book and such questions become important.On a related note, the book feels somewhat dated It was written during World War II, and I suspect thatrecent linguistic publications may have anuanced and better structured understanding of the concepts in this book That is the main reason for the three star rating Also, the book has some questionable language about women and savages.Some of the book has a bit of a doom and gloom attitude about the future of human society There s a whole section called WHY WE ARE STALLED This seems over dramatized

  10. Dane Rodriguez Dane Rodriguez says:

    Personal Notes Language is the relationship between maps and territory The words used to describe certain things are supposed to accurately describe the process it refers to in a way that is relevant and important to the present situation What you say and why you say it Words can have built in judgments and inferences, snarl and purr words are examples There is a level of abstraction for everything, a cow is a process referring to the organism low which is a bundle of cells lower that Personal Notes Language is the relationship between maps and territory The words used to describe certain things are supposed to accurately describe the process it refers to in a way that is relevant and important to the present situation What you say and why you say it Words can have built in judgments and inferences, snarl and purr words are examples There is a level of abstraction for everything, a cow is a process referring to the organism low which is a bundle of cells lower that is livestock high abstraction that is considered a farm asset very high Each level of abstraction bundles it with other things, farm asset includes tractors and buildings with the cow, and its name would isolate only the particular cow process we call cow Open and close minded refers to how willing to accept or consider new ideas a person isWhen hearing a speech you have 4 choices1 Accept the speaker and the message2 Accept the speaker and reject the message3 Reject the Speaker and accept the message4 Reject the speaker and the message Close minded people can either do 1 or 4 Open minded people are able to do any of the 4 Multi Valued Orientation is the ability to not consider things as either one or the other Two valued orientation is either something is good or bad Multi valued lets you analyze from multiple angles to gain complexity and understanding Intensional and Extensional Interpretation Intensional is being guided by the words and what we think they mean solely Assigning words like churchgoer to other traits like good, kind, christian, etc without knowing anything else about the particular churchgoer Extensional Orientation is applying it to the situation and realityOverall don t let words and semantics twist up the terrain don t sell yourself or anyone else a false map and stick to the facts Also, A truth told with bad intent, beats all the lies you can invent

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10 thoughts on “Language in Thought and Action

  1. Dave Dave says:

    Linguistics schlinguistics this is also a book about politics and public policy Language in Thought and ACTION , and the best one about either subject that I ve ever read It gives me hope that there is possibility for greater cooperation among us all, despite all of our real and,importantly, perceived differences Yeah, there s a lot of common sense in there, but it s put in a framework that makes it much easier to identify and understand how others are speaking or thinking.I suppose Linguistics schlinguistics this is also a book about politics and public policy Language in Thought and ACTION , and the best one about either subject that I ve ever read It gives me hope that there is possibility for greater cooperation among us all, despite all of our real and,importantly, perceived differences Yeah, there s a lot of common sense in there, but it s put in a framework that makes it much easier to identify and understand how others are speaking or thinking.I suppose an important message from the book is that by understanding when someone is speaking emotionally or misabstracting or whatever, you, as a listener, should be able to identify that and not take their words as literal, and maybe try to understand what they REALLY mean and eventually hold hands around the campfire and sing Kumbaya since by that point you ve gone on together to solve all the world s problems For me however, it just meant for the first couple years after reading this book, I wanted to tell anyone who overgeneralized that were on the wrong rung of the abstraction ladder.It s the only book I d give the should be required reading seal of approval


  2. Nick Nick says:

    Wow This was great Answers such questions as, why do we have language at all How do words and the things words represent get mixed up by our brain How does all of this impact our lives, and our civilizations Perhaps I m just new to reading about semantics, but I found the book s subject matter highly engrossing.Along the way it also systemizes a lot of common sense notions of language Admitting my ignorance of Wittgenstein, this sounds a lot like him The book also reminded me of the Black Wow This was great Answers such questions as, why do we have language at all How do words and the things words represent get mixed up by our brain How does all of this impact our lives, and our civilizations Perhaps I m just new to reading about semantics, but I found the book s subject matter highly engrossing.Along the way it also systemizes a lot of common sense notions of language Admitting my ignorance of Wittgenstein, this sounds a lot like him The book also reminded me of the Black Swan by Nassim Taleb because its very readable, results oriented, empirical, and the author is direct about what level of abstraction he is working at and cares about such things as levels of abstraction.Its also kind of dated in terms of the technological and cultural references which could be a positive or a negative positive for me One negative was that he occasionallytowards the second section interjects his political beliefs into it as though they were the default reasonable position he is a moderate authoritarian leftist american democrat He also encourages the reader to be extremely skeptical and analytical about political language, but sometimes implies that those who reject his own ideas are basically just playing language games This was annoying, but not annoying enough to steal 5 stars from this book


  3. Steph Steph says:

    p 19The first of the principles governing symbols is this The symbol is not the thing symbolized the word is not the thing the map is not the territory it stands for.p 21We all inherit a great deal of useless knowledge, and a great deal of misinformation and error, so that there is always a portion of what we have been told that must be discarded It should be noticed that there are three ways of getting false maps of the world into our heads first, by having them given to us second, by mak p 19The first of the principles governing symbols is this The symbol is not the thing symbolized the word is not the thing the map is not the territory it stands for.p 21We all inherit a great deal of useless knowledge, and a great deal of misinformation and error, so that there is always a portion of what we have been told that must be discarded It should be noticed that there are three ways of getting false maps of the world into our heads first, by having them given to us second, by making them up for ourselves by misreading true maps third, by constructing them ourselves by misreading territories But the cultural heritage that is transmitted to us our socially pooled knowledge, both scientific and humane, has been valued principally because we believe that it gives us accurate maps of experience.p 130 131To attempt to converse in this way is to make all our social contacts occasions for what we have earlier called the pooling of knowledge We can, if we are able to listen as well as to speak, become better informed and wiser as we grow older instead of being stuck, like some people, with the same little bundle of prejudices at sixty five that we had at twenty five.Statements made in everyday conversation, even if based on slipshod inferences and hasty over generalizations, can usually be found to have some modest degree of truth value To find the needle of meaning in the haystacks of nonsense that the other fellow is talking is to learn something, even from the apparently prejudiced and uninformed And if the other fellow is equally patient about looking for the needle of meaning in our haystacks of nonsense, he may learn something from us Ultimately, all civilized life depends upon the willingness on the part of all of us to learn as well as to teach To delay one s reactions and to be able to say Tell me , and then to listen before reacting p159If pictures give television its power, excessive reliance on them constitutes its weakness Television news focuses on things it can easily symbolize visually, at the expense of things that are harder to depict A few homeless people or a family being evicted can be televised to depict the larger problems of housing shortages and homelessness, but it s hard to televise houses not being built, rents increasing, or employment declining It s easy to televise motorists in a gasoline line but hard to televise a national strategy for lessening dependence on imported oil The visual aspect of television, adept at specifics, has trouble climbing back up the abstraction ladder to levels of greater generality and applicability


  4. Sukhneet Singh Virk Sukhneet Singh Virk says:

    Language in Thought and Action shifted my thought process in so many ways.I m able to extract muchquality information from conversations than ever before.An example of what you learn we get information 2 ways, direct experience extensional and everything else verbal Extensional info gives us a VERY limited view of the world I have no way of knowing Obama is a real person, that South America exists, or becoming a billionaire is a possibility.I learn about those things through verbal Language in Thought and Action shifted my thought process in so many ways.I m able to extract muchquality information from conversations than ever before.An example of what you learn we get information 2 ways, direct experience extensional and everything else verbal Extensional info gives us a VERY limited view of the world I have no way of knowing Obama is a real person, that South America exists, or becoming a billionaire is a possibility.I learn about those things through verbal info articles, videos, talking to people, news, books, associative memory, etcVerbal info is like a map that gives us an understanding of the real world When we re equipped with accurate maps, we re prepared for living asuccessful life and reaching our goals When we have an inaccurate map, that s when we run into trouble.And we get inaccurate maps all the time Stories of success coming to those who are passionate , that a toothpaste will make our teeth whiter, or that all we need iswillpower to succeed.Balanced biographies, scientific method, and approaching problems with a curious mindset all give us muchaccurate maps to navigate our lives.Every time I crack this book open it expands my understanding of things I never used to pay attention to.Must read for anyone interested in improving their thought process and their lives.Rating system I m interested in books that describe underlying patterns and apply to all aspects of daily living EX a book about language applies everyday and opens up your eyes to many new things.1 star I m surprised I finished it Will encourage people not to read at all.2 star Got some value out of it but not actively recommending.3 star Great book and you should read it if you ve got some interest in it I m glad I read it but most likely won t read it again.4 star Excellent book that you need to read if it touches on your interest Will recommend to others and maybe read again.5 star Everyone should read this book I recommend it to others regularly and may buy a few copies to hand out Will read again


  5. Erik Graff Erik Graff says:

    I read a library copy of this book in high school, probably on assignment from my senior English teacher, Mr Silkowski It was the first book I d ever read on communication theory and semantics other than Marshall McLuhan and it left far less of an impression, perhaps because it had been assigned by a teacher I didn t particularly like rather than recommended by an older friend whom I admired The notion of General Semantics, however, I did find intriguing.


  6. Kelly Kelly says:

    This is one of the most enlightening books I have ever read Hayakawa is the kind of incredibly bright mind whose writing can make you thinkmethodically, conclude thingsconfidently, and feel smarter yourself Somehow he seems like a friend at tea but his observations are so clear that you wonder how he can outside enough to notice all this, and inside enough to feel familiar and patient and maybe kind Thus, this non fiction book was far, farof a page turner for me than most This is one of the most enlightening books I have ever read Hayakawa is the kind of incredibly bright mind whose writing can make you thinkmethodically, conclude thingsconfidently, and feel smarter yourself Somehow he seems like a friend at tea but his observations are so clear that you wonder how he can outside enough to notice all this, and inside enough to feel familiar and patient and maybe kind Thus, this non fiction book was far, farof a page turner for me than most books of fiction that I ve read and liked lately If he has a moral message it is unobtrusive, unassuming, and the kind of lesson that any reader who s heard any of what he s said simply must draw for herself Come to think of it, he argues rather like lawyers should so that the conclusion the author desires, never once spoken, is inevitable, obvious in the silence after the speech Hayakawa compares any use of language to the practice of drawing a map of a physical territory Depending on how good the mapmaker is and his motivations, that map can resemble the territory very reliably, or not at all And from this simple metaphor he draws an impeccably conscientious account of the kind of things we do when we use language, and the implications for us as actors in the world Someday I hope to have read it enough times that I can hold all the concepts in my head at once and provide something like a summary but until then all I can say is thatthan one of Hayakawa s descriptions rang true for me in a way that clarified things about myself and my world that I d always suspected emotionally, but never been able to articulate I think this book should be required reading in schools I think we should all take courses on how we use language, why we use it those ways, what it says about us that we do, and especially how our ways of using language affect our ways of thinking and, ultimately experiencing and behaving in the world


  7. Matthew Brown Matthew Brown says:

    Language in Thought and Action is one of the most insightful books I ve read to date Hayakawa masterfully distills how we use one of the most basic human mechanisms words and the avalanche of implications that follows I can only wonder whether Hayakawa knew how ahead of his time he was when he authored this book as the lessons and themes within apply to an even greater degree now than they did when the first edition was released If you are in search of a deeper understanding of the use an Language in Thought and Action is one of the most insightful books I ve read to date Hayakawa masterfully distills how we use one of the most basic human mechanisms words and the avalanche of implications that follows I can only wonder whether Hayakawa knew how ahead of his time he was when he authored this book as the lessons and themes within apply to an even greater degree now than they did when the first edition was released If you are in search of a deeper understanding of the use and symbolism of language, look no further Hayakawa provides a map leading the way to critical thought and effective communication This book should be required reading for all, but especially for those with the responsibility of sharing information via mass media If nothing else, the perspective put forward in this book should serve to sharpen the lens from which you view the world around you


  8. Leslie Leslie says:

    This book is an interesting, concise, and well written book about linguistics, particularly semantics It particularly deals with how we know what we know, and how we frequently systematically misunderstand or miscommunicate because of limitations of language or our use of language for conveying what we mean In many ways, it is about the evolution of prejudice in individual minds as a consequence of confusing levels of abstraction, so that Pigs are dirty implies that Hampton is dirty beca This book is an interesting, concise, and well written book about linguistics, particularly semantics It particularly deals with how we know what we know, and how we frequently systematically misunderstand or miscommunicate because of limitations of language or our use of language for conveying what we mean In many ways, it is about the evolution of prejudice in individual minds as a consequence of confusing levels of abstraction, so that Pigs are dirty implies that Hampton is dirty because Hampton is a pig, even though Hampton has always demonstrated excellent hygiene The problem is that Hampton is a specific pig, being observed at a specific time, and is at a different level of abstraction than pig in general or even farm animal or animal or all kinds of other categories you could put him into Even if my whole experience of pigs leads me to believe they are dirty, my experience remains limited, and I may err in applying the trait to Hampton Unwillingness to let Hampton be clean is a prejudice related to cognitive inflexibility often related to the inability to see different levels of abstraction for what they are The characteristic metaphor here is that maps levels of abstraction fail to correspond to territories He details the differences between reports, inferences, and judgments, which are easily confused, at times with significant consequences.The book does not entirely dwell on the negative It has interesting discussions of the ways we use talk ritually In such instances, the words have little to do with what is communicated, or why the words are said These analyses are well done and instructive.Towards the end of the book, Hayakawa turns from describing thebasic aspects of representing information to the ways certain systems of representation such as television change our perspective and understanding in ways that might not be desirable He describes the effects of television on advertising, human motivation, and politics He ends with a discussion of cultural lag, which is a sociological term for the continued existence of obsolete institutional habits and forms The characteristic metaphor is having horse and buggy ways living as though one s social conventions were appropriate even though technological and social advancement have changed the entire landscape for social interaction


  9. Nathan Hatch Nathan Hatch says:

    Why I liked itI highly recommend the chapters Reports and Affective Communication The former gives good advice for objective writing, i.e writing in such a way that pretty much everyone will agree with you The latter is a highly insightful survey of literary devices what they do, why they work You might like reading those chapters even if you don t read the rest of the book.The idea of the abstraction ladder rings true It s one of those concepts that you might not notice until someon Why I liked itI highly recommend the chapters Reports and Affective Communication The former gives good advice for objective writing, i.e writing in such a way that pretty much everyone will agree with you The latter is a highly insightful survey of literary devices what they do, why they work You might like reading those chapters even if you don t read the rest of the book.The idea of the abstraction ladder rings true It s one of those concepts that you might not notice until someone points it out to you, but after learning about it you can find applications for it everywhere Being aware of the levels of abstraction of words being used will help with effective and efficient communication.The book is eye opening in so many little ways the absurdity of speech itself extremely complicated systems of sputtering, hissing, gurgling, clucking, and cooing noises how much of our non verbal behavior is symbolic as opposed to strictly practical e.g the clothes we wear, the food we eat how much linguistic communication is actually devoid of informational value e.g small talk, advertising how ceremonial, legal, religious, etc communication directive language often uses unusual words and structure to impress upon its consumers the importance of the occasion in order to get them to behave in certain waysWhy I didn t like itMuch of the book is structured around a fundamental division of meaning into extensional real world and intensional inside the mind Something about this classification feels wrong to me, perhaps because, in a sense, even real world objects exist only inside the mind This philosophizing may seem like splitting hairs, but there s a lot of epistemology in this book and such questions become important.On a related note, the book feels somewhat dated It was written during World War II, and I suspect thatrecent linguistic publications may have anuanced and better structured understanding of the concepts in this book That is the main reason for the three star rating Also, the book has some questionable language about women and savages.Some of the book has a bit of a doom and gloom attitude about the future of human society There s a whole section called WHY WE ARE STALLED This seems over dramatized


  10. Dane Rodriguez Dane Rodriguez says:

    Personal Notes Language is the relationship between maps and territory The words used to describe certain things are supposed to accurately describe the process it refers to in a way that is relevant and important to the present situation What you say and why you say it Words can have built in judgments and inferences, snarl and purr words are examples There is a level of abstraction for everything, a cow is a process referring to the organism low which is a bundle of cells lower that Personal Notes Language is the relationship between maps and territory The words used to describe certain things are supposed to accurately describe the process it refers to in a way that is relevant and important to the present situation What you say and why you say it Words can have built in judgments and inferences, snarl and purr words are examples There is a level of abstraction for everything, a cow is a process referring to the organism low which is a bundle of cells lower that is livestock high abstraction that is considered a farm asset very high Each level of abstraction bundles it with other things, farm asset includes tractors and buildings with the cow, and its name would isolate only the particular cow process we call cow Open and close minded refers to how willing to accept or consider new ideas a person isWhen hearing a speech you have 4 choices1 Accept the speaker and the message2 Accept the speaker and reject the message3 Reject the Speaker and accept the message4 Reject the speaker and the message Close minded people can either do 1 or 4 Open minded people are able to do any of the 4 Multi Valued Orientation is the ability to not consider things as either one or the other Two valued orientation is either something is good or bad Multi valued lets you analyze from multiple angles to gain complexity and understanding Intensional and Extensional Interpretation Intensional is being guided by the words and what we think they mean solely Assigning words like churchgoer to other traits like good, kind, christian, etc without knowing anything else about the particular churchgoer Extensional Orientation is applying it to the situation and realityOverall don t let words and semantics twist up the terrain don t sell yourself or anyone else a false map and stick to the facts Also, A truth told with bad intent, beats all the lies you can invent


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