The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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126                  THE HUMANITY OF WORDS
dictability. It works very well. We can predict that if we stay on Route 41 we will reach Evansville. We can predict that with good luck we can reach Miami in about three and a half days. We can predict about when we will reach good stopping places and good eating places.
We should be able to predict, from an accurate verbal map, what is likely to occur in the relevant context. An accurate verbal map is, therefore, a logical map. For what is "logic** but an If this, then that hypothesis? If we average thirty-five miles an hour . . . then we will reach Evansville at 7 p.m.
1.  An accurate verbal map provides an accurate description of something that exists,
2.  An accurate verbal map of what exists permits of predictability about what is likely to occur in the relevant context.
It should be noted that Korzybski's "logic'' could be called a logic of probability in that it does not assume absolute predictability. Korzybski accepts the basic assumption of continuous transformation. "In the objective world," he says, " 'change' is ever present and is, perhaps, the most important structural characteristic of our experience." (page 284) But change without order would be complete chaos. Ordera certain relative permanence, a certain relative invariance of relationsmakes possible whatever predictive powers we have. But prediction is, nevertheless, always probable and not absolute. For this reason, Korzybski introduces the principle of uncertainty into all of his assertive statements.
Korzybski's map-territory analogy has relevance to field theory of communication. So also has his insistence that the only link between the verbal world and the actual world is structure. Korzybski does not tell us how to make