Last issue I recommended How To Read a Book and it was well
received. Some readers said they would be more interested in a
book that talks about the comprehension and pulling meaning from
current documents. I agree that is a valuable skill. One of my
favorite books in this regard is Language in Thought and
Action by S.I. Hayakawa.
This book can change the way you process the information that
you’re bombarded with every day. Hayakawa’s focus is on language
and meaning, with examples from both blatant propaganda and the
more subtle diversions used in advertising. Admittedly much of
today’s advertising has lost its subtlety.
This book packs more than just descriptions of linguistic concepts;
you’ll learn how to decode the information coming at you in casual
conversation, Madison Avenue ads, or for what passes these days as
The flip side of this will be improvements in your own
communication skills. Language in Thought and Action deserves
a place next to How to Read a Book as a valuable tool to help you decode the knowledge you need in our information-overloaded world.