Tag Archives: prescriptive grammar

Calling All Hammers

11 Jan

Some people may find this section a bit complex. In order to discuss the simple, lowly, hammer in a way that will effectively relate to Map Thinking™ we must take on several subjects. Prescriptive Grammar and how it conjoins with Aristotlean Logic to limit our thinking rather than to expand it. Hand in hand with this we must explore a concept in Transformational Grammar called “Deep Structure”. But we will explore the latter in a slightly different way than “normal”. We will do it Mapologically™. That is we will, almost automatically discuss “Surface Structure”, what it is and why it exists. Something I have not seen tackled in my readings of Transformation Grammar. A pugnacious oversight in my opinion. (Note: The term “deep structure” doesn’t seem to be in vogue right now and I used it in a slightly different way than it is used in transformational grammar. We’ll get into that later.)

 

 

Yeah, I know. A hammer is a hammer.

What is so complicated about that?

 

We have a thing. We call this thing a hammer. From now on that is its name: Hammer.

We have named an object. A very specific object. When people say “Hammer” they normally mean an everyday claw hammer.

 

There are other kinds. In order to fully understand mapping we must understand both these other kinds of hammers and this thing called “deep structure”.

But first:

We will discuss some of the various kinds of hammers.

 

Claw hammers, most common, used by most people. Has one flat side to hit nails with and a claw on the other side to pull out the nails we have mishammered. (Oh, and please forgive me, [the] Gods of Grammar — No such word as “mishammered” has been ordained by them to exist — Therefore it MUST NOT be used even though everyone understands its meaning immediately. My sins I do confess.)

Normal people using their naturally grown Mapping skills and Deep Structure connections they will use a normal claw hammer for a lot of “inappropriate” things. Such as perhaps to use the claw for a screwdriver, or a hoe to dig in the dirt, or the wooden handle to widen a hole in drywall, or even the edge t the top of the handle to scrape away paint.

Superior people, who have mastered the concept of “Logical Necessity” are horrified by these sacrileges against surface structure. They will tell you, in no uncertain terms, that “Hammers are hammers” and “They are not designed for those tasks.”.

 

But hammers are used for some pretty odd things.

 

Roofing hammers actually look more like hatchets than claw hammers. At least on the “Claw” end.

It is possible some genius got tired of being told they were using the claw inappropriately and invented a better claw to do the job. Or it may have happened some other way.

Doesn’t matter. Point made.

 

Ball Pein hammers have an entirely different use. It is normally used to beat metal into shape. Auto body repair people rely on them extensively.

 

Logically this makes a Ball Pein hammer one thing and a Claw Hammer another, entirely different thing.

 

This is in fact surface structure. Using surface structure, in the form of Logic, we can deny there is any similarity between the two at all. A proponent of surface structure, stated as logic, will tell you, “A claw hammer is a claw hammer and a ball pein hammer is a ball pein hammer. Two entirely different things. They are used in two different ways to accomplish two different functions.”

Logical necessity forces us to agree.

A more linguistically centered approach would recognize that on a deeper level of thinking we understand that both objects are in fact the same in some way. They are both hammers, as their name implies.

 

The innate Fallacy of Logic is its assumption that extreme Surface Structural Thinking™ is The Superior way to reason.

It is in fact inferior.

The innate Fallacy of Linguistics is its assumption that Surface Structural Thinking™ is The Natural Way to Think and that Deep Structural Thinking™ is some complex function of the inner mind that must somehow be unraveled.

It is in fact simple and natural, but it is suppressed.

 

The next blog will introduce you to yet more hammers, and the opportunity to expand your map.

 

 

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