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Language in Thought and Action: Fifth Edition 5th ed. Edition
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Ever been in an argument? Ever get hot and bothered, maybe even start shouting, until you eventually realize that your disagreement is over the definition of terms? And did you ever stop to consider that there might be more than two sides to every story - maybe an infinite number? Come along as Hayakawa examines these issues in great detail.
The style of the book is so lucid, you'll almost feel as if you're being reminded of things you've always known. Does the book reveal universal truth? Or maybe just a skillful command of language?
I recommend this to any human who uses language to communicate or think. You'll never look at Hillary Clinton's "politics of meaning" the same way again.
This book is intruiging and at times disturbing. The study of propoganda is mind expanding and illistrative of the dark side of humanity. Think of it as a How-To manual to create a Orwellian 1984-like society.
I can't recommend this book more strongly. It will alter the way you think and relate to your own thoughts. Read this book.
Senator Hayakawa's main point is that, since it is language we humans use in order to think, and since language has such an extraordinary power to influence others and ourselves, we should pay heed to how we use it and how we interpret it.
In *Language in Thought and Action* Hayakawa discusses ways of better understanding language, and therefore thought, and therefore action, including the use of the "operational definition" and the need to recognize different levels of abstraction.
His essay comparing poetry and advertising is, all by itself, worth the price of the book. You'll never again be so smug about your pronouncements or those of others after reading about two-valued logic versus the multi-valued orientation. You'll learn why the words "Tell me more" can make a difference to you.
I like this book so much I decided to mail several copies to people I know as surprise gifts, along with a letter explaining my enthusiasm for it.
If you use language, if you think, if you act, you should read this book.
Update of November 2009: I am now reading this book for a fourth time. You can read a long excerpt at my Web site. Search for Hayakawa.
For anyone who cares about language and its uses, I recommend that you track down the 1st edition. It's still around.
Dee doo dah dah dee do dah dah is all I want to say to you (when you twist words to manipulate me.... )
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As relevant now as when it was written, maybe even more so.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
One of my all time favorite books. OK so the author was a bit strange. He fought the movement away from letters and numbers in phone numbers. Most people don't remember those days. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Andrew Kruse
This book is very basic and very readable. I enjoyed it very much and hope you will too.Published 3 months ago by The Bookster