About This Project
The Institute of General Semantics was putting on a symposium in Fort Worth, TX, in 2006, and their topic for the year was “sense and nonsense.” Granted, that’s a rather large topic, but given that it was within the field of general semantics, I figured I’d comment on the words “sense” and “nonsense.”
I crafted a lecture on how I used the words “sense” and “nonsense,” and what ensued was a discovery about my own sense of humor. You see, as I explained in the lecture, my own sense of humor was a matter of supplying nonsense when my listeners were expecting sense. I gather what they think of me, how they define me and theorize about me, then I provide them with information that’s inconsistent with those expectations. I thus have a lot of fun and garner a lot of laughs.
The title of the essay is keeping with the theme of nonsense: The title is nonsense. This lecture has nothing to do with knitting or sweaters. But it does have to do with sense and nonsense and general semantics. The lecture kicked off the entire symposium at around 9:30 in the morning, and it was a great way to capture attention and get people laughing.
Read the Essay
Originally published by the Institute of General Semantics, Inc., in the General Semantics Bulletin, No. 73, 2006.