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A Few Words On New Words

by John Vorhaus |  Published: Sep 19, 2012


In linguistic philosophy we learn that language informs belief; manipulate language and you manipulate belief. All-knowing, all-seeing gods aren’t all-knowing, all-seeing anything to the true believers until someone labels them as such. It takes words like act now! or for a limited time only! to induce a spending frenzy among people who would otherwise not shop and not buy. But what has that to do with poker? Well, it turns out that language doesn’t just inform belief, it also refines focus. Call something a bird, and you know it’s a bird, but call something a saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrow and you know what species of bird, where it’s found and a bit of what it looks like. That’s precision; refined focus. Now poker, as we know, is all about focus. The better you focus, the better you play. So then what might seem like a wildly self-indulgent exercise (willy-nilly naming things ...

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