Should we mean what we say, say what we mean or have plausible linguistic deniability ?

| February 24, 2013


Who was Samuel Ichiye Hayakawa ?

HayakawaHe may be best known for when he foiled a marxist student protest in San Francisco in 1968 by yanking the wires out of a amplifier system during an outdoor protest rally of these “students”.

If you are from central California, you would know him as your Senator in Washington D.C. from 1977 to 1983.

communication_wordsMe? I know him as a great author and advocate of a stable language – that words actually have meaning.

If words do not have meaning – they can mean anything.

If words can mean anything – then we are not responsible for what we say because what we say cannot actually mean anything. Thus – relieving ourselves from standing for and being responsible for what we say.

Without meaning, we then have freedom from speech rather than freedom of speech.

devo_freedom_of_choice_tourThis slippery slope then leads us to freedom from choice rather than freedom of choice … which reminds me of a song by DEVO …


Has the misuse of language for the purpose of manipulation of the listener become to be thought of as clever and a sign of intelligence ?

Has Doublespeak replaced direct speech ?

How can we communicate without exact meanings ?

I was amused recently at several fast food restaurants that launched a national ad campaign that they had a new “cheap menu” and how it was going to save their customers and give them value.

In reality, they increased prices on their “cheap menu” – so they headed off negativity by advertising the new “value” at their restaurants.

It wasn’t a short time before one of the companies “reintroduced” the old priced menu as if it was something new – forced to do so no doubt by free consumer choice.

I believe that people in general are smarter than they appear to be.

Hayakawa is right. Read the books he left behind for us.

“If you understood everything I said,
you’d be me.”

– Miles Davis.


Category: Tony Rollo Blog

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