Why should I care about semantics?, June 17, 2000
Reviewer: neurotome "neurotome" (New York, NY United States)
It's been said that language is what differentiates humans from the apes. But why language? Why not hawaiian shirts? Senator Hayakawa's short book explains why language, and particularly meaning, is so important. It stands alone on its own merits, or as an elegant frame to the debate addressed in Korzybski's monolithic 1933 work, _Science and Sanity._
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.