User Review - Flag as inappropriate
With this book, I learned to make powerful and useful observations of others’ thinking in conversations. I am grateful for the authors (Hayakawa and later contributors) for this book, it taught me to understand "language" differently, in ways that are not commonly gotten. I shared it with my brother, then my father and some of my colleagues. All of them embraced its value because of real results in their work and lives. I saw them shift in the way they think. The substance of this work, if read without the conceit of judgment and critique, does have this effect.
Some of the low-rated reviews I noticed have an academically philosophical bent. But this book is highly pragmatic; you can do something with what you learn on a day to day basis. Observing others gripped in "two-valued orientation", for instance, enables you to help them "see" a third possibility - and beyond - in life where they might be stopped or gripped because of the two-valued orientation.
This book is not about some flat structured way about semantics. It offers the reader new ways to "listen" to what is being said; to distinguish empty rhetoric from purposeful speech. If you are an analyst dealing with large amounts of information, ambiguous, and from diverse sources, the book offers various categories and distinctions to think with in order to produce analysis of value for its intended purposes.
I highly recommend reading, then studying, then keeping this book as reference for anyone whose profession and success depends on virtuosity in language: Writers, business analysts, executives, screen writers ...