But it sure is tempting to dive in. I’ll give it another look now: I do like po.

I like Po a lot. Through the years I’ve dipped my toes into the concept of po but then I back out again, because anytime I do, I find I have to explain “po” to each and every person.

[that’s why I stick with ‘concepts’ and ‘metaphors’ because they’re something we’ve all learned somewhere along the line]

But it sure is tempting to dive in. I’ll give it another look now: I do like po.


thank you :) Never did finish college [ran out of $$$ ’cause I picked the _most_ expensive school at the time (of course)] but I know if I did, I’d bs my way through it all quite convincingly :)

In regular school, whenever there would be an essay, I’d need more paper. They’d get mad at me because I’d rush my way through the test, and end up spending most of the time on an “Extra Credit” essay that ended up being pages long.

“That was worth only 5 points and you did terrible on the rest of the test!”

I didn’t care. I liked writing essays.


“xD Sir if I may be so bold you can probably bs your way to an A+ on college grade Thesis essays



I use either common words or buzzwords when I have to describe this type of thing.

“lateral thinking”. “right brained” (although I don’t use that one as much because I’m trying to dissuade people from believing the right/left brain thing now), “jumping the gap”, “a-ha” moment, Eureka moment… the complexities meeting complexities forming novel connections through the ball of fat on our heads which explode in a cacophony of insight…. stuff like that.


infiltrate their psyche. I like that :)

I’m good at that. My best system for that is arranging that by structuring my interactions so that they believe the idea is their own and not from me. It frees me up from having to teach further: since once it’s become their own, my job is done.


I’ll definitely look into it – it’s my first time hearing about it. I love the Robert Frost bit :)

I’ll download the book and scan through it. It sounds like something up my alley: I love the systemic view of things generally, meta views (as long as they tie together into the specific well enough), and the functional appeals to my American pragmatist side.

I’ll check it out – thanks!


I have it now and looking through it. I had my brief flings with Chomsky and then Pinker but they both suffered from a too rigid view of innateness which was a turnoff. Brilliant? Yes. But where they veered into innateness they’d lose me.


I like the general field of memetics but I’m not a fan of Dawkins. His view was good for its time but I found it to be a “too simple” view of things. But still, I look into changes in memetics now and again.


I like following the trends as they’re happening. I enjoy experiencing the changes in real-time and noticing the subcultures and how they shift in their usage of memes and how the USERS change over time. I find the people more interesting than the memes themselves.
I remember Deutsche – we were online friends back in the early 1990s, before he got all famous with his books and stuff.

You can rant if you like. One must remember that much of what make memes memes go further back than Dawkins too: they were called slogans and jingles and their power of moving people just outside of their consciousness is well known to advertising and marketing folks.

But memes have their own twist on things which has a closer relationship to proverbs and sayings or to vowel shifts in language and such.

Still, you _do_ have control over your personal “buy in” to it all but it can’t stop those who choose to let the memes move their actions and thoughts. I’ve felt their power, especially when participating in it.


Learning is an amazingly complicated thing and coordinating movements even moreso. Babies when born don’t know what to ignore yet. They try out every movement at once it seems. Over time they learn to not do certain movements in favor of other ones that seem to accomplish something new.

Each of their learning experiences is unique to them, which makes the consistency among so many babies *so amazing* to me. The “stages of development” almost say more about culture than they do some “innate process”. All one has to do is go to different cultures to see that babies DON’T all follow the same patterns because they’re RAISED in different cultures.

Of course some things seem to be universals, like the need for something soft and likely many other things.


Oh you couldn’t bore me about this. I find “how we learn” – especially the earliest stuff, absolutely fascinating. And, honestly, I haven’t seen you nuts about anything yet.


Thanks man. One of the things I like about you is that you sometimes hide your intelligence in code: a riddle, a pun, a turn of phrase – it’s almost like an intelligence sorter: “Who will get what I’m saying?” but then, once in a while, you expose yourself. It’s always a pleasure speaking to you.


I’m up to page 125 so far: I don’t have to memorize anything so it’s a pleasure scrolling through and ‘chunking’ as they call it.

I feel as if somebody (this amazing man that is), took EVERYTHING I’ve ever learned about language and is tying it together systematically. Mind-blowing.


It’s something new for me. I’ll never memorize a word of it and it’s in a different direction than I want to go (which is far more simplified than this) but its like reading a technical engineer’s guide to the English language. Never saw anything like it before. It’s rare that I scan a book from start to finish but this one I am. Then I’ll go back to what I was doing, whatever it was: I just never saw anything like it.


It’s true – I’m goallessly pursuing whatever grabs me at the moment, diving as deep as I can manage. No purpose really. I suppose I’m just a hedonist at heart.


Thanks – still, I can’t deny that I’m enjoying the heck out of this extraordinarily nerdish pursuit. 700 page book, trying to absorb as much as I can as quickly as I can to get a good overview of this thing I never even heard about 1/2 hour ago. Who does that? I guess I do. Once I’m done, should the subject of Systemic Functional Grammar come up in a conversation — or I need to give an answer to a question that would be, “Look into Systemic Functional Grammar” – I’ll be ready.


I’m at 232: I hope you don’t think I’m making light of this by going through it quickly That’s just how I study things. I review new music the same way: usually I search for the key bits of the pattern and I can figure out the musical phrases that matter from a 3 minute song within about 10 seconds, because I know what I’m looking for.

In the case of this text, which is a very rare case that I go from start-to-finish in order, I’m chunking the paragraphs and scanning the tables and charts, attempting to tie in the ‘gist’ of the system he’s writing about at that moment into my existing knowledge.

It won’t consciously add to my vocabulary: Extending my production vocabulary into the technical is a slow process for me… but my recognition and comprehension of novel concepts or tags for concept is quick.

Thoroughly enjoying this. It strikes me that he’s Whitehead but for Grammar.


I can well imagine! It reminds me of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermeneutics – which is related to “Close Reading”. On the Hermeneutics front, I had a little experience with that when I was in convertitis while with the Eastern Orthodox folks and on route to becoming a monk in my late 20s.

I would be dazzled at tales of the Desert Fathers who would hear 1/2 of a phrase from a master when they were novices and spend decades pondering it, analyzing it from every angle and thoroughly understanding it before approaching the master just before the master dies to hear the second half of the phrase, and spend the rest of their natural life going over that.

I don’t know if I *could* ever do that and yet, I can think back to things I was thinking about when I was 11/12/13 years old that I’ve been pondering over for decades in much the same way, as if set off on a lifelong quest to understand certain particular things.

Of course these are extreme examples, but it shows that there’s far more to communication than what shows up on the surface. Meaning can run very deep indeed.


Wow…. I’m just realizing (yet again I think because I must’ve known this before but perhaps for the first time) – the incredible POWER of language to not only take the world and describe everything in it and make changes to it, but also the power to create entire fictional Universes, enough to completely bring another person into it and own it for themselves.

The fictional Universes are analogues to our own, allowing for overlap of mapping to some degree, and yet, they’re unique unto themselves as well: all produced by language.

Language truly is a god-like power.


Reading this is helping confirm my stance with the Embodied Cognition family of concepts quite nicely.

Also, as I’m reading this and I’m realizing it is a Physics textbook. This is the physics of language, perhaps in a very real way.


Taking a break at 480 but I’ll finish it up tomorrow. My brain likes making connections from the last wake-period, and this particular wake-period is nearly over


Good point. I also believe in private understanding that remains unspoken, even within one’s own mind.

But I use an extended meaning of metaphor which includes imagry and other mental constructs. For example, feeling. If an understanding resolves to a feeling without a description, it’s also a metaphor, when you consider that similes and analogies are part of the set we call metaphor.

You may comprehend inscrutable things that cannot be described yet internally, they can be unique while also partially describable if one chooses, even if not in whole. That which cannot be described in any way would, to me, be a primitive: or rather, “the template” that could be so grand that things can only be compared to it in only a partial way, while it itself cannot be.


All these none’s and only’s :P I think perhaps what we show might be objected contents of thought but what we are is something far more than that.

I think of the thoughts I cannot objectify, such as music. I have songs that I’ve never heard that technically can never be played (at least by me) and I can’t write down for any one else to try. So, they remain trapped within. As a kid, I learned to play the piano VERY VERY quickly because I’d hoped to be able to be fast enough to output the music in real time but I never could… plus I never had enough instruments..

I suppose I could output it REALLY REALLY slowly but I’m too impatient for that. So, all anyone might possibly here is the toddler poop art smear on the wall compared to what I want it to be


After a few sips of coffee, I went back at it: Up to 585, brain buzzing with the amazing systemic analysis of language. As he describes the distinctions the stuff the lies behind the words feels like little machines operating, each with their own operating parameters. “this behaves as a resister, while this other thing behaves as a capacitor”, while this other thing attenuates a portion of the signal”….

If Chomsky was software, SFG is most certainly hardware.



Oh I feel teased by the author. He just dips his toes into metaphor (because it happens primarily at the semantics level and not the lexico-grammar level that the book is written about), ALMOST goes into it and then says, “Later on we’ll discuss this”. UGH! I’m anticipating now. But I’ll go straight through to it: The logical progression he is using builds well upon the past of what he spoke of, so going through left to right, start to finish is good.” But once these couplings
between the two strata of the content plane have been established, “cross-couplings”
become theoretically possible (cf. Chapter 1, Section 1.3.1, p. 20). For example, while
sequences are realized by clause complexes and figures by clauses, it is theoretically
possible that, under certain conditions, sequences would be realized by clauses — that is, as
if they were figures. This is the possibility of metaphorical realization, “I’m excited! But a paragraph later,”We shall discuss this phenomenon
of grammatical metaphor in Section 10.4, p. 626, and Section 10.5, p. 636.”ugh. I have to be patient :)

 Oh, this is beautiful: “agnation always embodies both similarity and difference”.This concept of simultaneous same + different has been profound enough to me that I once registered a domain and entered a word in a few online dictionaries “sifferent”. It expired just a few weeks ago after a year but it was long enough for me to present it to a few people.I made a symbol and everything :P I love this realm.====from book===
These patterns of wording are agnate, but just like agnate patterns in general they are not synonymous: agnation always embodies both similarity and difference. The similarity is the basis for interpreting the patterns as alike, bringing them together within a paradigm, while the difference is the basis for treating them as variant types rather than as tokens of the same type. The patterns are similar in that they are all manifestations of different kinds of expansion, as illustrated by the examples of the enhancing notion of cause above. But how do the agnate variants differ in meaning? As always with questions of meaning, the answer can be found in its metafunctional organization: differences turn out to be (i) ideational, (ii) textual and (iii) interpersonal.====

“The importance of modal features in the grammar of interpersonal exchanges lies in an apparent paradox on which the entire system rests — the fact that we only say we are certain when we are not. “
Oh yes! yes yes! “metaphorical mode has spread in a systematic way” – scientific discourse, business, legal.. oh this is one of my pet peeves here: I find they do a disservice to clear communication by writing/speaking in this metaphorical way. The Actors aren’t what they say as it’s a personification of non persons.
“. Ideational metaphor is based on patterns that exist already in the congruent mode of realization; but it expands these patterns signi?cantly, as can be seen when we analyse scienti?c, legal or administrative discourse — or indeed other kinds of discourse that the metaphorical mode has spread to in a systematic way. The following example produced by a general in a ‘posture statement’ to the House Armed Services Committee of the United States’ House of Representatives is a typical specimen:
In our units, the perception of an inadequate retirement program consistently surfaces as a primary cause of our recruiting and retention problems. (Text 115)
“x was displaced” : _yes!_ Whenever I would read thing like this “Displacement along these faults”, my first question is, “Displacement *of what*?” but there was no answer.I can see why they do this but for me it leads to an amnesia of the Actor role or worse, the personification of an activity.
He is addressing so many of my concerns that I’ve had for so long. it’s just marvelous.
“By the same token, when a figure is realized metaphorically by a group or phrase, it is deprived of the interpersonal status of a proposition or proposal, making it inarguable. It is thus presented as something already established; and any modifications, including interpersonal evaluative ones, have to be taken for granted:
A standard empirical hypothesis is that one component of the mind/brain is a parser, which assigns a percept to a signal (abstracting from other circumstances relevant to interpretation). (Chomsky, The minimalist program, p.18)
Any serious approach to complex phenomena involves innumerable idealizations, and the one just sketched is no exception. (Chomsky, The minimalist program, p.19)
“As  we  have  seen, grammatical  metaphor  of  the  ideational  kind  is  primarily  a  strategy
enabling us to transform our experience of the world: the model of experience construed in
the  congruent  mode  is  reconstrued  in  the  metaphorical  mode, creating  a  model  that  is
further  removed  from  our  everyday  experience  —  but  which  has  made  modern  science
_Thank You_. I finished reading it. It was well worth the build-up to reach the point I wanted to see more than anything: The interface between logicogrammar (I like them being together in a single concept) and semantics. I _knew_ in my ‘gut’ that the metaphor was the linkup but I just couldn’t place my finger on it.He successfully addressed my concerns with aspects of language usage and provided a very solid footing to build up to it.Halliday has my complete respect: a true master.

A secret is hiding information from someone.
If you do not fear revealing your hidden information from someone, then you are not afraid of that someone.
If you do not fear revealing your hidden information from anybody, then you are not afraid of anybody.
So, the answer is : yes.

  Last night and this morning, I read through (mostly chunking but paying some lingering attention to systems diagrams and other illustrations) a 700 page tome called:

“An Introduction to Functional Grammar” by M.A.K. Halliday. While a systemic treatment of logicogrammical function wouldn’t normally be my “thing”, it came highly recommended to me and it *was* in fact very very fascinating. It’s as if everything I ever learned about grammar and language function was somehow incorporated into this masterpiece of theory. It’s also anti-Chomskian, which is an added bonus to me.

If Chomsky was describing software, Halliday is describing the hardware. i could ‘see’ the circuits of language in my mind while I was going through it.

My main interest was metaphor, which I had to get 600 pages through to get to, but it was well worth it to FINALLY see the part of grammar logic which links into semiotics… and it answered many lingering concerns I had about the way language is used improperly imo (such as personifying non-persons and the strengths and unfortunate consequences of such):

I tell you this because I will probably be even MORE ‘literal’ in my breaking down of stuff than before. Prepare to find it annoying at times.



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