Ben Hack On Semantics And General Semantics

Decent Essays
Hauck, Ben. "On Semantics and General Semantics: Re-Defining the Former to Understand the Latter." A Review of General Semantics 70.3 (2013): 232-244
Ben Hauck is an actor and comedian however, he has published many articles on General Semantics while sitting on the Board of Trustees of the General Semantics Institute and The New York Society for General Semantics. Hauck uses this article to redefine semantics, and then apply that new definition to general semantics. He argues that the standard definition, “the study of meaning”, is incorrect and should be referred to as the “study of implication”. He discusses the many different types of semantics and how we would label them, and then draws connections on how we label general semantics. He
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Hauck writes this argumentative article to explain the purpose and importance of general semantics. He argues for its insertion into high school curriculum as it teaches its practitioners about critical thinking, insight and perspective. Hauck identifies the metaphorical hurdles that general semantics faces in the academic community, including “teaching-to-test” ideologies and ageism. Hauck does not refer to any other authors, professors, or papers in this argumentative article. He references many school policies making his ideal target audience a school board member, parent, or any other person with influence over school curriculum. Hauck does a good job at explaining his reasoning for the challenges that he identifies, however he does not attempt to provide and solutions. The article was educational in some aspects of understanding the issues but obsolete when looking for problem…show more content…
Dierking focuses on using examples to show the readers how semantics is used in daily life. She uses examples that will resonate with a wide audience. She includes examples ranging from children use of semantics to the use of semantics by politicians to convey a misleading message. She even includes a celebrity’s use of semantics on stage. By doing this she is able to draw in a diverse group of reader who will all be able to comprehend her message. Although she uses everyday people for reference her message is still factual and educational. She refers to multiple sources in her article including William Lutz and Edward Hall. She does also refer to other but not in a literary context. Dierking’s writing is targeted more towards the general public, who are dipping their metaphorical toes into the cold semantic waters. She uses household names that every person would know, making sure that she is easy to understand. I found the amount and type of examples that she provided somewhat refreshing, compared to the word heavy references of previous authors. Her article would have benefited from more concrete evidence. Most of her article was opinion based, an relied on her own interpretation of others words, nevertheless it was still informative and
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