Thursday Review: “Making Sense”

For something a little different, this February, the Thursday Reviews will be dedicated to a few of Richard Asher’s classic articles from the late 1950s:

It’s no wonder that Asher’s lecture titled “Making Sense” is devoted entirely to the use of language and its use in shaping how medical information is conveyed.

People have always known that language is powerful. Asher quotes a wide range of literature throughout the talk, among them the beginning of John’s Gospel, In the beginning was the word, and the story of Rumpelstiltskin. The idea that knowing something’s name gives one power over it is an old, old human belief. So much so, that the idea made it into a fairy tale some 4,000 years ago.1
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