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Attack Of The Cake


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There are many ways to put things or people into categories.

For example, you could sort everybody on Earth into two categories. Those who are taller than you, and those who aren't.

Those who are older and younger than you.

And collection of things can be sorted in plenty of ways.

One way to sort things is the type of things people talk about.

An interesting experiment to do is to sit back mentally and be an observer. 

You can even do this while watching TV.

Our brain has plenty of built in sorting features, most of which are running all the time.

But other sorting criteria can be shifted, and this can be pretty interesting.

For example, next time you are listening to some people talk, shift your filters to see if they are talking about themselves, or other people.

Ideas about themselves, their wants and desires, or their ideas about other people.

Or you can play around just for fun.

Are they talking about more tangible things, or intangible things?

Focus on the nouns they are using.

Are they physical things, or ideas?

Another idea, which is very helpful, is to sort between content, and structure.

This is something that few people even think about.

But training yourself to switch between content and structure can be VERY powerful.

Focusing on tangible things or intangible ideas, for example, is looking at their content from a structural level.

Another funny way to sort their language is to look for any ambiguities, particularly scope ambiguities.

For example, I was watching a TV show the other night.

And one of the characters was talking about potentially eating something with particular zeal.

And she said something like, "I'll attack it like a chocolate cake."

Meaning the thing in question, that she was going to "attack," was going to be "attacked" AS IF the thing in question was a chocolate cake.

Meaning she was going to eat it aggressively and deliciously.

But you could ALSO interpret that statement to mean:

"I'll attack that just like a chocolate cake would attack it!"

To which one might innocently ask:

"How exactly does a chocolate cake attack something?"

If you train yourself to look for these kinds of ambiguities (which you'll see everywhere once you start looking), and ask simple (and silly) questions like the one above, they'll have a pretty funny effect.

Because when people talk, they kind of just spit out jumbles of words without much thought.

But when you ask a question that PRESUPPOSES the "other" meaning of any of their ambiguities, it will make them do a couple of mental stutter steps while they try and figure out what the heck you are talking about.

The result is usually pretty funny.

Once you see how many hidden opportunities there are in everyday language, making people laugh can be second nature.

Learn How:


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