ETBM#10 Words Mean Shit!

July 20, 2011 Board Meeting:
Description: Words Mean Shit!

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Also as promised, below is on excerpt from the book Tyranny of Words by Stuart Chase:

If one is attacked and cornered, one fights; the reaction is shared with other animals and is a sound survival mechanism. In modern times, however, this natural action comes after the conflict has been set in motion by propaganda. Bad language is now the mightiest weapon in the arsenal of despots and demagogues. Witness Dr. Goebbels. Indeed, it is doubtful if a people learned in semantics would tolerate any sort of supreme political dictator. Ukases would be met with a flat “No comprendo” or with roars of laughter. A typical speech by an aspiring Hitler would be translated into its intrinsic meaning, if any. Abstract words and phrases without discoverable referents would register a semantic blank, noises without meaning. For instance:

The Aryan Fatherland, which has nursed the souls of heroes, calls upon you for the supreme sacrifice which you, in whom follows heroic blood, will not fail, and which will echo forever down the corridors of history.

This would be translated:

The blab blab, which has nursed the blabs of blabs, calls upon you for the blab blab which you, in whom flows blab blood, will not fail, and which will echo blab down the blabs of blab.

The “blab” is not an attempt to be funny; it is a semantic blank. Nothing comes through. The hearer, versed in reducing high-order abstractions to either nil or a series of roughly similar events in the real world of experience, and protected from emotive associations with such words, simply hears nothing comprehensible. The demagogue might as well have used Sanskrit.

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