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The Verbal Toolkit(Extensional Devices)

Module 8


    General Semantics offers a number of helpful verbal/mental tools for evaluating statements and phenomena fairly quickly in real-life situations.  Korzybski called such tools Extensional Devices and Catherine Minteer referred to them as the Verbal Toolkit in her book Words and What They Do To You.  It is the latter from which the following paraphrase is derived:

    *Index – Object (1) does not equal Object (2)
    *Date – Everything changes.  School 2002 is not school 1982.
    *Etc. – There is always more to be said.
    *Question – Does the word fit the fact?  What does s/he mean?
    *Delay – Evaluate before you act.

Of course, these maxims are not 100% universal and you will have to decide which if any are appropriate for any given situation.  But this set of tools should prove to be very helpful in most situations.