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Martin H. Levinson. A Continuing Education Guide to Teaching General Semantics.

Martin H. Levinson. A Continuing Education Guide to Teaching General Semantics. Forest Hills, NY: Institute of General Semantics, 2014.

From its beginnings in 1933, when general semantics was formally introduced to the world with the publication of Science and Sanity, Alfred Korzybski and his students considered GS a practical discipline, to be used by individuals, groups, and organizations to solve problems and make productive decisions. The first two popular books on the subject- The Tyranny of Words by Stuart Chase and Language in Thought and Action by S. I. Hayakawa-reflected the pragmatic approach, as each author employed GS to examine and assess the influence of language on thought and behavior. The author of A Continuing Guide to Teaching General Semantics continues this tradition of having GS used in practical ways.

The guide contains twelve continuing education lessons in general semantics. Each lesson includes an Introduction (for the teacher) of the basic GS ideas to be presented, a Motivation to begin the lesson, and Suggested Activities for students. There is also an Annotated GS Bibliography that can be used to supplement the instruction.

One does not have to be a teacher of general semantics to gain benefit from A Continuing Guide to Teaching General Semantics. I read through it, did some of the exercises, and learned quite a bit about GS. The exercises were enjoyable and instructive. I particularly found gratifying ones that involved indexing yourself on a given day, dating yourself in four-year intervals, using the scientific method to problem solve, and questioning assumptions.

General semantics ideas and formulations have been taught in numerous college courses throughout the world. Over the years, many articles on the benefits of GS have appeared in the General Semantics Bulletin and ETC: A Review of General Semantics, and more than 150 doctoral and master's degree theses have demonstrated its efficacy. GS is clearly a highly useful methodology with a wide range of applicability in diverse areas of human endeavor. Do yourself a favor. Read this guide!

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Author:Nosnivel, Nitram
Publication:ETC.: A Review of General Semantics
Article Type:Book review
Date:Oct 1, 2014
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