This page was updated by Ralph Kenyon on 2017-08-20 at 03:38 and has been accessed 6274 times at 49 hits per month.


When it comes to communicating with people, I recall Don Kerr at a general semantics seminar, and the Soyuz-Apollo linkup.  Don Kerr always emphasized that each of us brings our own "experiential" (non-verbal) elements to any symbol.  That means you construct your own meaning to fit my words.  One principle of general semantics, the map is not the territory, (the word is not the thing) reminds us of the structural, non-verbal character of knowledge.  This denies that any one vocabulary has a monopoly on meaning.  Since each set of words is at best a map (incomplete and with error), we have little chance of communicating if we insist on forcing our own maps down others throats.  We can only hope to communicate with another if we speak their language!  We must at least recognize that the 'language' others listen with is not the same 'language' as the one we speak with.  The Soyuz-Apollo linkup demonstrated marvelous insight in selecting that the Soviet Cosmonauts speak English and that the American Astronauts speak Russian. (1)

Source: Ralph Kenyon, 1982