- Paperback: 396 pages
- Publisher: Harcourt Publishers Ltd College Publishers (1 Jan. 1966)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0156923947
- ISBN-13: 978-0156923941
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.6 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 164,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Tyranny of Words Paperback – 1 Jan 1966
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A study of semantics investigating the problems of human communication and suggesting ways to clarify the meaning of words.
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Top Customer Reviews
What's so great about this book is that it's not just about semantics for the sake of being academic - this book was written with a bigger purpose. Stuart Chase demonstrates holistic thinking, i.e. how this knowledge of language fits into the wider picture of society and the future of humankind.
Scientific in approach and enjoyable to read, I highly recommend this book to anybody and everybody.
Here's my little speech on the bigger picture:
As far as I can tell, one of the main reasons we're in such a messy society is because of lack of awareness of our own fallibility, and the effects/consequences of our actions i.e. broken thinking (including massive egos, faith, political ideology, etc) getting in the way of seeing what's really happening.
We will only get out of our mess if we humans improve the way we think; i.e. drastically reduce our logical fallacies, cognitive biases and distortions; and improve the way we communicate; i.e. "nonviolently", using evidence, being empathic, and using far less abstract language when action is needed- with clear physical referents.
This book is one of a few key texts to help change the zeitgeist so we can create a global peaceful civilisation :)
And a quote from the book which I just think is awesome:
"People are not "dumb" because they lack mental equipment; they are dumb because they lack an adequate method for the use of that equipment. Those intellectuals whose pastime is to sit on high fences and deplore the innate stupidity of the herd are on a very shaky fence.
Often, if they but knew it, they are more confused than the man on the street, for they deal in loftier abstractions. When I hear a man say, "We never can get anywhere because the masses are so stupid," I know that I am in the presence of a mythmaker, caught on his high perch behind the bars of a verbal prison.-" pg. 28-29
Another thing I'd like to add. Half way through the book Chase starts to argue that state economic planning is progress and uses quotes from people who oppose this way of thinking as a demonstration in to meaningless words and rhetoric.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolute must read for everyone, our language is old and unclear, Stuart Chase does a great job of highlighting its problems and provides ways of thinking about it so it becomes... Read morePublished 6 months ago by mini me
This is a great book i know when this was released in the 30's it was quite revolutionary, as time has moved on (almost 80 yrs) this book is still a good read but not quite as... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Michael
Excellent book! I'm really interested in language & how it's used in the structure of thinking (ie setting up how we categories & demarcate our understanding of 'reality' & this... Read morePublished on 18 Nov. 2012 by Jimbo Jones