The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I Love You, Big Horse!

To everything in life there has to be Reason and Purpose. You might describe yourself as a reasonable and purposeful person – and now the meaning of the first line has entered a development section. I might purposely examine some of the reasoning behind that development just to further metamorphose the original statement AND the first development. And now suddenly I’m building up variations on a theme.

So all of this – for what purpose?
Well I’m writing here about hypnotic language, and ‘sleight of mouth’.

Hypnotic language
Hypnotic language is all around us – we both use and hear it all the time. Sometimes we don’t hear it consciously and find ourselves halfway down a road to thinking or doing something and wondering why we’ve gone there in the first place, since there’s been no rhyme nor reason why we’d do or think that. That’s when we discover that there’s been some subliminal use going on. 

You know how it is when we don’t see something happening because we’ve been looking the other way? Well it’s the same with listening – we can miss the subliminal stuff because we’ve been listening the other way too.
Subliminal, as an adjective, has had all sorts of connotations put upon it. Yes it is defined as something below the level of sensation or consciousness – however, around the domain of persuasion it becomes a weapon of cunning deceit, subterfuge, covert influence. Subliminal points to someone else controlling ME, without my knowing.

It is acceptable in, say, the domain of magic because essentially a magician is honest. He says, or implies, that he is going to trick you – and he does. We marvel at his sleight of hand, and applaud his ability to distort and divert our attention. However, in the hands of advertisers, salesmen and politicians, the marvelling and applause are not there – something other than entertainment is on their agenda.

So, yes hypnotic language is subliminal; and when there’s rhyme, and especially when there’s reason, we can use hypnotic language to unpick the locks of several doors that previously we might have felt were either non-openable, or that we didn’t even know the doors were there.

One of the most interesting ‘lock-picking’ words is because, and this is most likely down to the fact that we like reasons for things – reasons that validate and make things plausible. If you doubt this then try it for yourself.
Next time you ask someone for something – something that perhaps in the past you’ve not given a validating reason, or something that perhaps you are slightly uncomfortable about asking – just tag in after the request a “because” line and see what happens.
The most obvious one that comes to mind is to go to the front of a queue or to be served before someone else. If you give them a qualifying reason then there’s likely to be compliance. If you just blurt out, “Can I go ahead of you?” a whole level of non-verbal judgement kicks in. Hackles rise, shoulders hunch, people look at you – measuring you against their likeability scale, and some are even bristling with a curled lip  that says ‘who the hell are you’? It’s what I call drawbridge conditioning and it’s a particular behaviour pattern of the urban human. “Everything in life is a race, and I’ve got to get there ahead of you, and you, and you. So just take your place in the queue.”

Is “To Be” not to be, after all is said and done?
Another pattern I’m particularly fond of is interlaced negatives. I’ve been drawn towards it for some time, since we all know it isn’t just about not being able to follow what someone is or isn’t saying though isn’t it? It is more about the meaning that may sometimes be there, even though there may or may not have been any intention implied.

I’m also all too aware of those delicious verbal titbits embedded within linguistic and sonic ambiguities. When talking, or writing, I might stumble across something in all innocence and then find myself re-expressing what I’ve heard or read with regards to some inner sense of direction. Of course I could, in a sense, be striving to be much more direct with my intentions by this stage, since before we know it here we’re well on the path to being mentally anaesthetised by some emphasis that neither is or isn’t there. And there’s a sense of déjà vu about all this isn’t there? A feeling that a trans-derivational ** search is called for, seems to rise up from out of the discarded syllables and punctuation.
‘Floating’ punctuation is another area, when the listener – and the reader – can be coaxed towards something of a different persuasion.

In the first week of starting to visit schools to coach cricket, some years ago, I read about how to manipulate how someone hears their own spoken negative statements by starting my response with the word “Yet”.

Very soon an opportunity arose when I was confronted with a Year 5 girl pupil who’d responded in a standard manner to my showing her how to best hit the ball with a cricket bat.
She said, “I can’t do that,” to which I added, “Yet - and soon with just a little practice you can begin to discover how it has come to you much more naturally.”
There was now an audible transformation from “I can’t do that” to “I can’t do that yet ...” The door of possibilities for her swung open on the linguistic hinge of a little 3-letter word. The rest of what I said was laced (and lasered) with presuppositions, embedded commands, and two temporal references (yet and soon) that both pointed towards the relevance of NOW without now ever being mentioned. Interestingly, a few minutes later I noticed her hitting the ball quite comfortably in the manner I had shown her, so I guess things had worked!

Big Horse
The interesting thing about language is its versatility once you mount up and start to ride. Give it full rein and pretty soon you’ll be out galloping and jumping fences whenever you encounter them, all the while getting a sense of unbridled fun – or is that Pun?

Many years ago there was a song by Jim Reeves called “I love you because” and I once heard it sung by another country artiste with a very broad drawl. Hence – “Big Horse”!
Here is a metamorphosis, with apple-ogies to the Gentleman:

I love you Big Horse. You kind-a Stand near
Every single thing I try to do.
You’re always there, a friend and helper. And here
I love you most of all Big Horse, you’re you.

No matter what about the world I’ll say – Me,
I know your love will always see me through.
I love you for a hundred thousand reasons
But most of all Big Horse, it’s ‘I love you’.

**  Part of the Wikipaedia explanation of Trans-derivational search is:
Unlike usual searches, which look for literal (i.e. exact, logical or regular expression) matches, a trans-derivational search is a search for a possible meaning or possible match as part of communication, and without which an incoming communication cannot be made any sense of whatsoever. It is thus an integral part of processing language, and of attaching meaning to communication.

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