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The Linguistic Swiss Army Knife


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There are some pretty funny jokes based on logical fallacies.

Based on the following structure.

All kangaroos are mammals.

But not all mammals are kangaroos.

The joke involves some kind if misinterpretation of this.

Sometimes this is used as a kind of "seemingly insightful" political statement.

For example, imagine the following said with utmost seriousness:

"Not all people who support candidate are X, but all bad people support candidate X."

But that sentence basic logical truth can be twisted in pretty much any direction.

Like imagine somebody saying that previous sentence about political candidates, and imagine how much serious meaning they give to it.

And now imagine that same serious tone with the following sentences:

Not all sandwiches contain peanut butter, but all peanut butter sandwiches do contain peanut butter.

The first one, about bad people and Candidate X sounds like some deep conspiracy that somebody has heroically revealed.

But the one about the peanut butter sounds silly.

Unfortunately, this is how many people see the world.

They see one thing being "caused" by another.

But then they ASSUME it goes both directions.

For example, a very famous "pick up" technique is "cocky funny."

This idea has been around for a LONG TIME.

But it's not the "cocky funny" that is doing the job of creating attraction.

It's the underlying confidence and interpersonal intuition that is DELIVERING the "cocky funny."

If you try to deliver the cocky funny WITHOUT the requisite personality, you'll come across looking like a socially uncalibrated weirdo.

This is the problem with most EXTERNAL communication "strategies."

It's like trying to re-create a delicious cake by ONLY copying the frosting.

But sometimes you CAN slowly go from the outside in.

Particularly in the case of embedded commands.

Embedded commands are often thought to be a secret hack of mind control.

Even world class infomercial people misunderstand them.

I saw a guy once, watching mostly passively, selling some kitchen gizmo.

Then, near, the end, I noticed he used the famous, "BUY NOW," command.


As you watch this, BUY NOW you may be wondering how you might use this.

The buy now is really "by now" but you say it like "buy now."

But the way this guy used it, in the infomercial, clearly indicated they did not know how to use embedded commands.

He used like a trick.

Kind of like guys with ZERO game try and use cocky funny.

Just to make sure, I re-watched the video clip.

And the ONLY command that goof gave was the famous BUY NOW command.

Which I took to be really, really, good news.

That PROFESSIONAL infomercial people have no clue how, specifically, to use embedded commands.

The truth is they are MUCH MORE than magic tricks to sell things.

They can be used conversationally to have fun, increase your charisma, or just be a more enjoyable conversationalist.

Used correctly, the misunderstood embedded command is as versatile as a Swiss Army knife.

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