The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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KORZYBSKI                                    113
another. Does it describe a perfect way of life? If so, then criticisms and suggestions for changes are heresy. Or, does it describe an ideal way of life toward which we strive but which can never be fully realized? If so, then "democracy0 is subject to constant revision, to constant critical attention. And any suggestions for changes are always in order,
Korzybski tells us to put quotes around the big word to call attention to the need to go to lower order descriptions or silent level experience to clarify meanings of higher order abstractions. If we start with a big wordand stay thereothers cannot know wThat we are talking about. The big words are big noises, Korzybski says, when we get too far away from firsthand experience.
The quotes say that the meaning of the big word is as personal as the life of any single individual in his cultural context.
4.  We should use quotes to show incompleteness because the word is a separator.
If the psychologist had crooked his fingers when he used the word "mind," I would not have risen to the question: "Would you define the word 'mind/ as you use it, please?'' He would not have been disturbed, and I would not have been thought hostile. The quotes would have alerted me to the fact that he was emphasizing the psychological but not forgetting the physiological aspect of the nervous system.
Use quotes to show that you are not forgetting that the word is a separator.
5.  We should use quotes around a familiar word to indicate a special meaning. Here the quotes say Watch me! I don't mean what you think I mean!