PREFACE TO THE FIFTH EDITION, 1993
Six decades have passed since this book appeared in 1933. In the interim many thousands, in varying degrees of breadth and depth, have interacted with the formulations first presented herein. As of these hours of writing, people in every continent (save, perhaps, Antarctica) are studying and applying general semantics.
Those who have been attracted to and worked with Korzybski's formulations have largely come from the evaluationally energetic and self-selecting segment of our populations. They have tended to be leaders or those training to be leaders in a broad range of interests and disciplines. Through their efforts as teachers, managers, researchers, etc., Korzybski's formulations have explicitly and implicitly reached many thousands more.
Some aspects of general semantics have so permeated the (American) culture that behaviors derived from it are common; e.g., wagging fingers in the air to put 'quotes' around spoken terms which are deemed suspect. Original korzybskian terms are seen used without attribution, as if part of the general vocabulary; e.g., a paragraph-long explanation of "time-binding" appearing in a high school social studies text.
Some of Korzybski's coinages, particularly "neuro-linguistic," are now common coin and have extended the subset of English with the "neuro" prefix. (The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, 2nd Edition, p. 1291, mistakenly gives "1960-65" as the dates of origin for "neuro-linguistic" and the offspring terms, "neuro-linguistics" and "neuro-linguist.")
During the depth of the recent "Cold War" an interview about Korzybski's work was broadcast by Harry Maynard and Wladyslaw Marth to Poland over Radio Free Europe. A new study by a Polish scholar, Karol Janicki, credits Korzybski with being a precursor of what Janicki calls Non-Essentialist Sociolinguistics.'
Science and Sanity has by now spawned a whole library of works by other time-binders. Some of them have been listed in previous editions. Since the publication of the Fourth Edition, this 'parenting' has continued. Books, doctoral dissertations, masters theses, scholarly papers, essays and journal urticles abound. The primary journals for on-going discussion and development of general semantics are the General Semantics Bulletin, published by the Institute of General Semantics, and ETC.: A Review of General Semantics, published by the International Society for General Semantics. Other journals, popular and scholarly, publish general semantics materials, pro and con.
For a sampling of books dealing with general semantics published since 1970, sec the Bibliographic Note.2 My choices do not reflect my evaluations