3.888 etc. as discipline (32)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Mon, 1 Jan 90 19:00:39 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 888. Monday, 1 Jan 1990.

Date: Tuesday, 26 December 1989 0155-EST
From: TREAT@PENNDRLS (Jay Treat, Religious Studies, Penn)
Subject: Et cetera and discipline

Alfred Korzybski (founder of General Semantics) suggested the use of
"etc." precisely as a discipline. Essential to the General Semantic
approach is the notion that all language is partial: "The map is not the
territory." Korzybski reminds us that every abstraction contains an
implicit "etc." and that it often helps us keep our bearings if we make
this "etc." explicit. He suggested that writers indicate it by an
additional comma (or period, as appropriate) in order to avoid
constant repetition. Thus,
Jane writes., and Dick paints,.
would mean
Jane writes etc., and Dick paints, etc.
and reminds the reader that Jane's activities are not confined to
writing and that Dick does more with his life than paint.

The suggested convention never caught on outside General Semantics but
would be just as useful as the recent suggestion to use partitives.

Jay Treat, Religious Studies, &c., usw., ktl., vg',.