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Prevention and Cure

Language Abuse
Part 4 : Identification and Rebuttal

The alert reader of this paper may have noticed that there are two fundamental processes at work in what I have defined previously as language abuse. These are:
i) distortion by means of REMOVAL or deletion of genuine information
ii) distortion by the PROJECTION or implantation of doubtful 'information'
These processes may be employed singly by the speaker or, more commonly, in tandem. The former incorporates the basic process of nominalisation, deletion, generalisation, etc, and the latter the processes of assertion and presupposition.

As to why human beings might want to distort their communications, the author can assert with confidence - based upon observation - that in the majority of cases the behaviour is subconscious. Language patterns,, which after all are the basis of language abuse, are learned in early childhood and crystallise in puberty: this is not to say that they are immutable - indeed, they can, and do, change in later life. The parallel is in learning a foreign language (and hence new language patterns): such learning is significantly easier for children than it is for adults.
Language patterns are INHERITED and, as children, none of us had any choice about our inheritance, neither did our forbears: we all came here with blank memory banks and had them coloured in by equally helpless people using the prevailing palette, which was all they had. Each individual has their own unique language pattern - but that will have been heavily influenced by their family, have a lot in common with the patterns of the childhood locality and available mass media, things in common with the general area or province whilst at the same time having a general semantic and syntactic base in common with all other speakers of the language. Language does not exist as a concrete object, neither is it written down somewhere in some dusty old books (although there are of course books in written language symbol that can only be understood by a human reader). On the contrary, language is a dynamic, living thing that lives, and has lived and evolved continuously since we came out of the caves, in the collective mind of humanity - a thought form that outlives all human beings: although we might use it for our benefit in day to day life, we are at the same time its prisoners.

That there are individuals who abuse language for their own selfish ends, there is no doubt: certain types of salesmen, demagogues, some politicians and their advisers, charismatic cult leaders, shysters and the rest. These are a tiny minority - and they can only get away with it because of a lack of awareness of their doings amongst the rest.
Having said all this in order to lay the background, 'why' people abuse language is not really the issue here [but as an aside, the answer is that they do it, consciously or subconsciously, to get their own way: the former is learned consciously (nurture) the latter inherited as a child (nature)]; it is the 'how', and the antidotes that count. The 'how' has been established, at least in principle, in Part 1 of this paper: perhaps those who follow will improve upon what I have written in times to come. Now to focus on means of correction.

Given that the majority of the language patterns used by human beings are employed subconsciously, there is no need - nor benefit - in starting a crusade. A gentle, questioning means of approach whereby various forms of abuse are casually, even humorously, pointed out will be more than sufficient. As with most subconscious behaviour, the simple mechanism of pointing it out brings it into consciousness: once it is brought into consciousness, the subconscious mind, instead of carrying on the way it always has (it learned the majority of these patterns back in childhood and had no choice), slowly and automatically re-assimilates the behaviour into a new pattern. The correspondence is like telling someone they have a hair sitting on their shoulder: once they are made aware of the fact, they brush it away effortlessly.

[Footnote: I fully realised when I was part way through writing this paper, that certain people might get hold of it, stand everything I have said on its head & use the information for nefarious purposes. I thought for a while whether to proceed or not: I did, on the basis that:
a) those misusing language are already likely to be doing so, and
b) the overall thrust is likely to be beneficial - people will learn how the distortions are being perpetrated and thus become immunised against them.]

Generic Means

Self Regulation

All good cures, like charity, begin at home. Become aware of your own language patterns, when and how you use them, why you generalise and make assertions and presuppositions in your everyday life. Try to be precise whenever you speak, gently challenge imprecision in the speech of others: become an example in the proper use of language.
These patterns will not change overnight - they are deeply conditioned, and ingrained by repetition - but the more you become aware of them, in yourself and others, the more your individual patterns will change, imperceptibly at first but change for sure.


Take one or two elements at a time from part one of the paper and analyse some written work at your leisure (opinionated newspaper articles are a rich source of language abuse, as is advertising). Then listen to discourses and conversations, attempting to identify the patterns as you go. The conversations can be on the radio, TV or between third parties in real life. Once you become adept at this, see if you can detect the patterns when you have conversations with others. Don't worry if you seem to be slow at first. There is a lot to learn here - you are discovering old habits, and simultaneously learning new, less destructive ones - and once your subconscious mind catches on to what is going on, and it will if you persist, you will discover that all this becomes seamlees and effortless.{Readers of this paper who have worked through the exercises in mind body awareness on this site are invited to explore the metaphor between the previous couple of sentences and Exercise Blue.}

Distortion by Removal: Lack of Specification

A speaker has presented you with some kind of statement. Now, since words are descriptions and there never will be a fully specific description for anything, there are inevitably elements missing from that description. The question is, 'are you happy that you have a sufficiently detailed specification, do you have sufficient information to measure the factual BASIS of what is being said?' If not, ask for more information - either on a specific point by point basis - or with a general request that they be more specific because you can't understand.

Useful in this context are the open ended question tags 'WHAT, WHEN, WHO, WHERE, WHY and HOW.'

Simple Examples:
My wife doesn't understand me.
{In what way? How do you mean 'understand? How and when specifically did you discover this?}
This is a good film.
{How do you measure 'good'? What aspects particularly appealed to you? How would you score it on a scale of 0 - 10 against all the films ever made?}
This is the best second-hand car you'll see today. It's a bargain: low mileage, good condition, average fuel consumption for its class. I highly recommend this particular model; used to drive one myself.
{The key words are 'best', 'bargain', 'low', 'good', 'average', 'class', 'recommend' and 'used': work out your own questions. There is also a significant deletion in that the speaker makes generalised assertions without revealing the reference system for those assertions: since the means of challenging assertion/presupposition appears elsewhere, these will not be discussed here.}

Distortion by Projection: Assertion and Presupposition

This is a more problematic area than removal in terms of specifying generic means, since assertions and presuppositions can have complex forms, are all too easily stacked, and given the speed of the spoken word in particular, are difficult to disentangle. Some general guidance can be given however: the reader is then encouraged to study the information given in the detailed sections that follow and practice applying it such as to become proficient in recognising and challenging the forms.
The majority of cases where the reader will encounter assertion and presupposition are those in which some third party is attempting, for whatever reason, to change the reader's world view TO THE THIRD PARTIES BENEFIT. Another word for all that is persuasion, but I have spelt out deliberately: since the mind is the device of perception, then to change it's state is to change perception - that's the game. The speaker's overall direction will be to persuade the listener to build a distorted mental model, a fantasy, using the speaker's words as the means of directing the listener's imagination. Although this section is essentially about distortion by projection, the reader should be alert to the fact that both this and deletion will be employed in tandem to manipulate perception.
Typical circumstances are (in no particular order):
i) during sales transactions
ii) sexual encounters
iii) interactions with politicians/political parties
iv) encountering advertising
v) 'religious' encounters
vi) interactions with con-men, hustlers and shysters
vii) work and home 'power' situations
That's point 1: be on the alert for presupposition and assertion in all such circumstances, in particular be mindful of anyone trying to get you to 'think about', 'imagine', 'remember', 'believe', 'feel', tell you 'interesting stories', etc. (interrupt, and just refuse to do it).
Point 2 is that the use of persuasive language depends to a significant extent upon the use of the arousal of emotion in the listener. Accordingly, when there is excessive use of inflection, gesticulation and nuance about, the reader should be alerted that there is quite possibly assertion and presupposition about.
Point 3 is simple, in that assertion and presupposition are both vulnerable to disruption by the techniques given in the section above on Distortion by Removal. Since both depend upon (deleted) assumptions, WHAT, WHEN, WHO, WHERE, WHY and HOW will work perfectly well in exposing and ultimately challenging those assumptions - and ultimately in destroying any false ones.
Point 4 is also simple. Repetition is the easiest technique to use for assertion. If it is used on you, calmly point out the repetition and ask that the speaker stop repeating (and keep on repeating your request if they don't).
I could continue here, but I won't since to extend this section would involve too much detail - the detail is given elsewhere.

Intermediate Means of Detection

A) Distortion by Removal of Information
The various ways in which information can be removed from, or obscured in, a person's utterance have been shown in Part 1 of this paper. The essential subheadings are repeated below in a 'keypoints' list. This appears daunting, but fortunately the list can be paraphrased into five basic behaviour patterns - each cross referenced to the basic removal pattern - which are shown in the second keypoints list that follows.
Keypoints List 1:
1) Nominalisation
II) Deletion (general)
III) Need operators
IV) Comparatives
V) Non-specific adverbs '-ly'
VI) Singular/plural shifts
VII) False logic
VIII) Cliché
IX) Common knowledge
X) Missing referential index
XI) Universality
XII) Clipped generalities
XIII) Incompletely specified verbs
XIV) Deletion of self (multi-person scenarios)
XV) Euphemism

Keypoints List 2:
XVI) vague or incomplete specification
XVII) assertion of false or spurious reference system
XVIII) failure to specify reference system
XIX) deletion, or realignment of self in process
XX) false causality

In terms of refutal and rebuttal, of the removal techniques shown in list 2, the means are presented subsequently (along with the rebuttal techniques for presupposition and assertion - such that everything is in more or less one place)

B) Distortion by Assertion and Presupposition
The fundamental process is distortion by PROJECTION, that is to say the speaker commands/asserts/implants/suggests states that are not so, and that he/she wishes to be so. In other words, the speaker is attempting to change the listener's mind state and hence the latter's perception of reality. As indicated earlier in the section on the generic prevention of influence by assertion and presupposition, there will invariably be some appeal to the listener's thought processes involved here, subtle or not so subtle, such a process will always be present. In the case of rudimentary assertion, this may well take the form of 'X is Y' (a direct example of wilful assertion), which if left unchallenged will reinforce the speaker's viewpoint, and change the listener's viewpoint, by virtue of tacit agreement. A slightly subtler, and more powerful, way of doing this is by means of the tag where: 'X is Y, isn't it.' Here, the assertion is as before, AND the listener's agreement is asserted: should the listener not openly disagree, his/her agreement is assumed.
That's at one end of the spectrum, the primitive end. At the other, there are the far subtler techniques of suggestive presupposition - here is an example: 'It's only when you are actually driving your new car that you'll appreciate all the wonderful facilities you have.' I don't intend to analyse that sentence other than to point out that it uses a very subtle technique of appealing directly to the listener's imagination: the listener can not make sense out of the sentence UNLESS HE/SHE IMAGINES driving the new car. Here's another: 'Have you ever kissed a man like me before?' The obvious presupposition/appeal to the imagination is that of remembering kissing a man: the subtle part is hidden in the word BEFORE. By saying 'before', the speaker implies that it is going to happen now or later. These example show just how imperceptible presuppositional appeals to the thought processes can be: it is not only the word forms that (can and do) direct thought, it can be the unspoken directions within the word forms as well. The good news is that clues are usually available to detect such forms.
To put example to one side for a moment and revert back to theme, the process is that the assertor/presupposer attempts to bring about a change in mind state of the listener. Assuming the listener is initially in mind state A, and the speaker wishes to bring about mind state B, the latter must provide input to bring about that shift, input in the form of language. In this, there is an immediate means of recognition, an alarm bell for the listener, that there is assertion and/or presupposition being employed: the speaker will invariably have to talk about something that is 'NEW' respect to the listener's current state - this will normally involve projection into the past, future or spatially, sometimes all three. Should the speaker's remarks be sparse, of short overall duration and semi-random, their input is likely to be genuine and non-manipulative. On the other hand, should the speaker use continuous or semi-continuous input and go on at length, (two more warning signs), repetition, and appeals to imagination, then there is likely to be an attempt at mind state manipulation going on.
So much for the introduction, now for the detailed techniques. For completeness below, the methods enumerated for generic recognition and refutation are repeated along with the rest: key points are given first.

Key Points Group 1
a) Anyone with a reasonable grasp the English language can sit down with Bandler and Grinder's twenty-nine presuppositional forms, and write down a couple of words or phrases that paraphrases the given forms. I have done this and discovered several common themes which recur in several of the forms (the reader is recommended to do this for him/herself and develop a personal list of themes). The paraphrase is presented below:

i) time/state/spatial/number change
ii) volition (is, was, am, are, do, will, shall, must, would, should and the negative -n't variants
iii) narrowing attention
iv) non-attributable opinion
v) comparison
vi) generalisation
vii) exception
viii) conditional (if)
ix) heavy inflection
x) appeals to imagination
xi) repetition
xii) desire (want/need)

b) in addition to these there are other indicators as follows:

xiii) use of long, complex sentences and continuous/semi-continuous speech: speaker hogs the conversation
xiv) touching (NLP kinesthetic anchoring)
xv) intermittent distraction (another form of narrowing attention)
xvi) use of vague, non-specific language
xvii) assertion of things as fact without independent supporting evidence
xviii) mind-reading
xix) Use of the words 'Now', 'Since,' 'While,' 'As', 'Causes,' 'Makes' and variants
xx) use of abnormal gesticulation
xxi) non-specific incremental change
xxii) Luckily, fortunately, happily, etc.

c) Associated assertion indicators (not listed above)

xxiii) hidden volition -'s -'ll -'re -n't
xxiv) tag phrases (don't you, isn't it)
xxv) command phrases (can you?, you can, will you?, you may, do you?, you have)
xxvi) lead phrases
xxvii) false choice (or)

Rebuttal and Refutal

Although the information that follows is presented for 'removal' and 'assertion/presupposition' cases as if they were separate entities, the reader is reminded that any statement, or part of a statement, will be presented as a single entity and removals, presuppositions and assertions will all be mixed in together - with one leaning on the other. It is therefore often possible to cause a re-alignment of pattern by successfully challenging one or the other. The reader should be cautious in refuting the language patterns of others too directly: in a word orientated world, language patterns are close to the seat of consciousness & any strong rebuttal may be seen as a personal attack: on the other hand, anyone using language distortion to achieve their own ends does deserve what they get. Gently, and inoffensively is the suggested way: the reader should allow his/her subconscious mind the freedom to act in this matter - and it will.

Refutation of Distortion by Removal
As stated elsewhere in this paper, since any language statement will never adequately be able to describe that which the speaker is attempting to describe, there is always a failure in specification. Accordingly, the listener can always ask him/herself the valid question 'what is the speaker leaving out of this communication?' in full knowledge that the speaker is indeed leaving something out. This can lead to the listener asking broad 'fishing trip' type questions, and/or detailed questions on specific points. Since the means of distortion has been condensed into five themes (repeated below), questions and evocations to the speaker directed along the lines of those themes are likely to more rapidly reveal what has been hidden than random questions. Some typical responses are provided below on each theme: for active use, the reader is enjoined to remember the themes, remember the general rule of WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHY, and HOW, and then make up their own responses to suit the particular circumstances.

Repeat of Keypoint list 2:
- vague or incomplete specification
- assertion of false or spurious reference system
- failure to specify reference system
- deletion, or realignment of self in process
- false causality

Typical Responses:
-vague or incomplete specification:
--Can you tell me more about..? (NB use of conv postulate)
--How does..?
--I don't understand: you'll have to give me a lot more specific information.
--Give me some hard facts about...
--What exactly do you mean by..?

-assertion of false or spurious reference system:
--This doesn't mean much to me: how does it relate to..?
--How exactly do you claim to measure this?
--How can you prove X?
--What do you mean by..?
--Which other people evaluate things this way?
--Show me some hard data on this.
--What evidence can you provide for and against your claims?

-failure to specify reference system:
--What would happen if..?
--How does it come about that..?
--When you say (generality), you can't be sure of that: what precisely do you mean?
--How many would you give it on a scale of 0-10? Why?
--How exactly do you measure this?
--When you use the word (some nominalisation), what exactly were you trying to say?
--How does this compare with..?
Has this been scientifically validated? Where are the results?

-deletion, or realignment of self in process:
--Exactly what part do you play in all this?
--Why do you use the terms 'I' and 'we' interchangeably: who do you mean by we?
--What do you do whilst all this is going on?
--What do you personally stand to gain by this?
--When you say (nominalised 'feeling' phrase), to whom do you refer?
--How do you influence this process you've described?

-false causality:
--Just explain again how, in your opinion, X causes Y.
--Can you prove that? What evidence can you provide?
--Let's suppose the converse is true: what happens then?
--Who says it's either this or that? Why?
--Your logic is wrong. If X then Y doesn't make sense, so there's something wrong; explain it again.
--That's impossible, you can't possibly know what I'm thinking: have you thought of going on the stage?

Refutation of Distortion by Projection

As said above, the removal projection of information commonly (inevitably?) occurs in tandem, with removal metaphorically creating the mist of confusion, and the projection forming it into shapes that the speaker wills. As can be seen from the lists in the previous section, there are more means of projection than removal, and being more diverse, they are far more difficult to pin down. Nevertheless, some pruning of Keypoint Group 1 possible, and this is done below. The numbering is removed, and the items regrouped - according to similarity - into new categories, without deletion of any item off the list at this point (since I prefer that the reader follow the logical steps in the condensation of this material):

use of abnormal gesticulation
heavy inflection
use of long, complex sentences and continuous/semi-continuous speech: speaker hogs the conversation
touching (NLP kinesthetic anchoring)
intermittent distraction (another form of narrowing attention)

non-attributable opinion
assertion of things as fact without independent supporting evidence
use of vague, non-specific language

a) appeals to imagination
b) desire (want/need)
c) time/state/spatial/number change
d) narrowing attention
e) non-specific incremental change
f) Luckily, fortunately, happily, etc.
g) Use of the words 'Now', 'Since,' 'While,' 'As', 'Causes,' 'Makes' and variants
h) comparison

a)volition (is, was, am, are, do, will, shall, must, would, should and the negative -n't variants
b) hidden volition -'s -'ll -'re -n't
c) command phrases (can you?, you can, will you?, you may, do you?, you have)
d) conditional (if)
e) false choice (or)
f) exception
g) repetition
h) tag phrases (don't you, isn't it, you know, etc.)
j) lead phrases
k) mind-reading

There is little to say about group I. above that has not already been said elsewhere: should the listener notice two or more of these points in any situation then the best policy is probably to head for the exit - especially if there is a crowd situation. If leaving is, for whatever reasons not an option, then let the indications be a warning that there is likely to be manipulation afoot & that refutal is likely to be necessary. With respect to the speaker touching/holding the listener, it is not 'just being friendly' as it is often portrayed but an attempt to anchor and/or communicate kinesthetically: it should be firmly and physically repelled. The listener should also question the excessive gesticulation and anything else that comes to mind (what, when, where, how when, why) in order to deliberately break the continuity of the speaker's flow: gently but firmly demand evidence and fact.
Group 2. has been satisfactorily dealt with in the earlier section on Removal: there is no need to repeat what has been said before - apply the techniques given previously: it is groups 3 and 4 which form the nub of Projection.
Of these, group 3. by being more subtle, is the more pernicious, What group 3. does is to say to the listener FANTASISE whilst group 4. says 'THIS IS SO' - will. Fantasy and will then, are the mechanisms involved in projection and, to abstract, the reader should be particularly on the alert to any direction of either of those faculties of the human mind. In a phrase, when techniques listed under 3. and 4. are involved, it is as if someone is repeatedly saying to you: 'This is what is. Imagine this: when you have done so, make it be - do this'. This is not just mere words, oh no, this is imagination engineering. Know now that this mechanism has marched people to their unsuspecting deaths down the centuries: listen to the chants (I am, they are, we shall, I have, we are, we will, there is...). It's about time we grew up.
Now to analyse each element by turn.
It is not by accident that lists 3. and 4. have a different order to the preceding (randomly ordered) lists: certain of the elements have similarities and, to allow this section to be manageable, will be grouped together: the groupings are worked through in some detail below: in order to facilitate PRACTICAL use of this information, a synopsis of the techniques developed, including techniques for dealing with 'removal' is provided in an appendix, and may be floated in succinct form on a separate site. {Aside: apologies to the reader, the vagaries of HTML don't help layout here, but I don't intend to waste much time struggling with software systems}. First of all, to group the elements in what was previously list 3.:

Subgroup 3.1: IMAGININGS
a) appeals to imagination
b) desire (want/need)
c) time/state/spatial/number change
d) narrowing attention
e) non-specific incremental change
h) comparison

f) Luckily, fortunately, happily, etc.
g) Use of the words 'Now', 'Since,' 'While,' 'As', 'Causes,' 'Makes' and

Subgroup 4:1
a)volition (is, was, am, are, do, will, shall, must, would, should and the negative -n't variants
b) hidden volition -'s -'ll -'re -n't
c) command phrases (can you?, you can, will you?, you may, do you?, you have)

Subgroup 4:2
d) conditional (if)
e) false choice (or)
f) exception

Subgroup 4:3
g) repetition
h) tag phrases (don't you, isn't it, you know, etc.)
j) lead phrases
k) mind-reading

Dealing with Suggestive Appeals to the Imagination

First of all, since the reader has persisted and got so far in this paper, he/she by now is at least vaguely aware that these kind of things go on - and that is the first stage in the recognition of the process in everyday life. In the majority of the interchanges between human beings, there is an ongoing process of one speaker appealing to the imagination of the other(s). There is nothing wrong with imagination, it is a perfectly practical, useful and valid human faculty, which is part of our evolutionary heritage in terms of the function of memory and anticipation in our daily existence: the problem is, it is readily triggered by symbolic association in the form of extant language patterns and thus can be easily abused - either as a result of conditioning and habit, or as a deliberate, selfish act. The subtle means of modifying imagination is by the use of groups of suggestive words. Suggestive words, almost by definition, are non-specific - although in any setting, the context will serve as a direction.
A simple model of the process at work is:
MIND STATE 'A'->input of suggestive words->/MIND STATE 'B'
The suggestive word input may range from a single word or phrase through to a lengthy, complex monologue with stacked suggestions, presuppositions, commands and the rest. Every word group the speaker uses (even negative ones) will evoke some kind of image, (e.g. don't imagine a purple cat with wings now). Unless the listener can somehow interrupt the stream of suggestion, the change of state A to B is inevitable: it may not be what the speaker intends, but if skilful phrasing and imagery is used, it will approach what the speaker intends.
So, how to prevent this? Well, it is simply a matter of being aware of the language patterns when they arise, and interrupting them at source. How to be aware? Well that is up to the reader, although a few pointers can be given thus:
1) most appeals to the imagination will use predicates which actually evoke the imaginative faculty: here are some examples (this list is necessarily incomplete) - IMAGINE, BELIEVE, REMEMBER, SUPPOSE, JUST THINK OF, CAN YOU SEE YOURSELF, HOW WOULD IT BE IF, PRETEND, FANTASISE, LOOK AT IT THIS WAY.
The answer to things like this is either to just be aware - and interrupt, typically saying you have no imagination or that you don't choose to pretend to do what others say, so please desist. Ultimately, in a subtle kind of way - but nevertheless actually, the speaker is telling you what to think: how do you feel about that?
2) desire on the part of the listener is normally presupposed in a lot of encounters: typical predicates WANT, NEED, HAVE, ESSENTIAL, OWN POSSESS, CRAVE, FANCY, LONG FOR, REQUIRE.
3) all appeals to imagination automatically narrow attention to that which is imagined. Since the mind can be 'softened up' and preconditioned into narrowing attention (as a process), avoid observing too closely anything the speaker might offer to look at or listen to. Similarly, forcefully challenge all superfluous distractions and demand a detailed explanation.
4) earlier, it was pointed out that the speaker has to introduce the novel in order to get a shift from state A to B: be aware of this and ask why the speaker is introducing new topics into the conversation. related to this, is the subtle means of appealing to imagination without the predicates given above: this is by introducing time, number, state, space, increment and comparison into the conversation.
A couple of examples here: 'I went to Barcelona for my holidays last year. Beautiful place, but not half as nice as the Costa del Fortune in September.' {this apparently casual remark gets the listener to shift space to Spain and time to September (undefined when)} 'I have a holiday flat there, wonderful airy place with three bedrooms, bathroom and private swimming pool - far better than those two bedroom jobs in the main part of town - and I bought it just at the right time: in a month, the price goes up by 20%. What would you have if you had one, two, or three bedrooms?' {comparison, specious description and increment, then comparison & either or}.
The way to tackle this is as for point 1: interrupt and stop the flow - demand relevance and accuracy. Realise that what's going on here is that the speaker is trying to tell you what to think - how do you feel about that? What are you going to do about it?
It is in the use of 'quotes', the related type of 'little story' or 'joke' that some of the subtlest manipulation of all is done - just refuse to listen to any non-relevant stories, particularly in a 'power' situation. If you have(?) to listen, delete the names of the characters and see where your own name, that of the speaker and anyone involved in the situation might just neatly fit: the speaker is subtly trying to tell you what to think - how do you feel about that? What would you say to them if they came out with their intentions directly?

Group 3:2
The use of the words NOW, SINCE, WHILE, AS, CAUSES, MAKES, and variants and LUCKILY, FORTUNATELY, HAPPILY and variants, although having common purpose in one way or the other appealing to the imagination is singled out here for special attention as these words are particularly suggestive and are often used in the ultimate suggestive setting of hypnotism. All the words given presuppose a process ACTUALLY TAKING PLACE - to which the speaker will happily provide the (often false) causal links. The reader is warned to be aware of this group and challenge any presupposition vigorously with what, where, who (is lucky?), when and why.
Example: 'LUCKILY we have the model of car you want in stock and AS you sit in the driver's seat it will MAKE you feel like the King of the Road and CAUSE you to wonder why you never bought one before. Can you imagine that?'

Dealing with Commands on State/Volition

Group 4:1
Whether wrapped up in an envelope of presupposition or not, word groups of this form - saying what is, was or will be - unless they are statements of undeniable fact, are ASSERTIONS. They are open to direct challenge, by disagreement or counter-assertion, or by testing the factual base & demanding evidence. What, when, who, why and how again. Determining and destroying assertion is a matter of logic - and remember that asserting what is not, is the same process as asserting what is.
The reader should be ever alert for the hidden volitional tag's laid at the ends of words in order to establish when statements of volition are being made - indeed, even at the time of writing (mid 1999), the writer has noted several shorthand speech forms where even these are abbreviated in volitional statements. (Example: 'Going down there tonight.'
The other thing to be wary of is the command, or conversational postulate, sentence structure (are you, will you, you may, you have, etc.) and challenge the meaning by behaving literally by answering commands posed as questions a s 'Yes/No' and commands posed as orders as 'Who says, and why?' The other option is to challenge meaning outright.

Group 4:2
These are statements of false logic (if this happens then this happens, you can choose A or B, you can/can't do anything but). The way to challenge these is to ask who says so, why, what are the assumptions, when they came to this strange conclusion and how they manage to arrive at their limiting choices.

Group 4:3
These are almost more habits of speech than anything else, but they are asserting state. Lead phrases are a peculiar type of partial repetition (which should be pointed out repeatedly to the speaker until they desist), whilst tag phrases are repetition, or re-assertion, of meaning. Again, tag phrases should be pointed out (and no, don't choose to ignore them as colourful speech - tag phrases are ALWAYS VOLITIONAL, they are subtle assertions of the speaker's will).
As for repetition itself, don't tolerate it. Point out you have good hearing, an excellent memory and don't need things repeating - or if you do, you'll ask. If the speaker keeps on repeating, keep interrupting and repeating your own statement. If they keep on, do it again - and repeat every assertion you make until they agree on a truce. Otherwise, turn and walk away.

As for mind reading, methods have already been given: call it mind reading, because it is, and make some gentle disparaging remarks about Gypsy Rose. The hard fact is that nobody can 'read' anybody else's thoughts: there is scientific evidence to demonstrate that. If the speaker claims special knowledge of body language or such, ask where they got it, what course they went on and what diploma they have: then ask them what some obscure body movement means - and remember to smile as you do.

Power Situations
A useful technique in a 'power' situation (a direct confrontation wherein one party is attempting to influence other(s) to adopt a particular point of view) is for the listener, tacitly, to establish at the outset what the speaker's fundamental assumptions are. Examples are: 'He's assuming he can sell me this car', 'He's assuming he's going to make love to me', 'She's assuming I'm going to agree to moving house', and so on. Once the basic intention of the speaker is established, his/her basic premise, all secondary supporting assertions and presuppositions presented by the speaker will be quickly recognised by the listener.
A further action, should the listener be determined not to comply with the speaker's assumption(s) is to firmly say OUT LOUD AND WITHOUT QUALIFICATION, ensuring the speaker hears clearly: 'I will not (contradiction of assumption)' - e.g. 'I will not buy this car', 'I will not move house', and so on. Say it every time they make an assertion or presupposition to the contrary - and don't explain why. {Explanatory note: The speaker is altering his mind state and yours with every assertion he/she makes: the technique given above answers back in kind with a powerful, wilful assertion to the contrary}

Appendix: Detailed Detection

Unless the reader is blessed with a prodigious memory - and almost immediate moment to moment access to same - it will be impossible to use the technique given below on the spoken word: hence the earlier presentation of generic and intermediate detection techniques. The means of detection presented here is a list of keywords, words that are likely to be around when distortion by removal and assertion/presupposition is taking place {the list incorporates the twenty copula - words which allow an entity to be qualified in a porentially elaborate manner}. The words are intended to serve as flags to the phrases and or sentences they are found to occur in & for that reason and the memory problem, it is recommended that the list, and part 1 of this paper, be used in conjunction to find, and analyse, suspect passages in written or transcribed work: anyone who can write the appropriate code could use the list as a dataset for an automatic 'finding' computer program. Here is the bald list - which is not exhaustive - without any further comment -'LL, -'NT, -'S , -ER, -LY, ABLE, ABSOLUTELY, AFTER, AGAIN, AIN'T, ALL, ALREADY, ALSO, ALWAYS, ANOTHER, ANY, ANYMORE, ARE, ARE YOU, ARRIVE, AS, AWARE, BACK, BECOME, BEFORE, BEGIN, BE, BELIEVE, CAN TELL, CAN SEE, CAN, CAN'T, CERTAIN, CHANGE, COME, CONSIDER, CONTINUE, COOL, DEPART, DESIRE, DOESN'T, DREAM(S), DURING, EACH, EASIER, EITHER, END, ENTER, EVEN, EVERY, EVERYBODY, EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE, EXCEPT, FANTASTIC, FANTASISE, FANTASY, FAR OUT, FEEL, FEW, FIRST, FORMER, FORTUNATELY, FOURTH, GENERAL, GO, GROW, GET, FEEL, SEEM, APPEAR, TASTE, SOUND, SMELL, LOOK, REMAIN, ACT, GO, TURN, MAKE, PROVE, CONSIDER, GREATER, GROOVY, HAPPILY, HAVE, IF, IGNORE, IMAGINE, IMPOSSIBLE, INNOCENTLY, IS, JUST, JUST SEE, JUST LIKE, KNOW, LEAVE, LESS, LIKE, LUCKILY, LUCKY, MANY, MAY, MORE, MUST, NECESSARILY, NECESSARY, NEED, NEVER, NEW, NEXT, NICE, NO ONE, NOBODY, NONE, NON-SPECIFIC, NOT, NOW, NOWHERE, ODD, OLD, ONLY, OR, OUT OF SIGHT, PLEASED, POSSIBLE, PRESENT, PRETEND, PREVIOUS, PRIOR, PROCEED, REALISE, REGRET, REMARKABLE, RENEW, REPEATEDLY, REPLACE, RESTORE, RETURN, SAFER, SECOND, SHOULD , SINCE, SOME, START, STILL, STOP, STRONGER, THAT, THEM, THEN, THEY, THINK, THIRD, TOO, TRANSFORM, TURN INTO, UNABLE, US, VISUALISE, WANT, WAS, WE, WHAT, WHEN DID YOU, WHICH, WHILE, WHILST, WHO, WHY WAS, WHY IS, WHY DOES, WILL, WILL YOU, WON'T, WONDERFUL, WOULD YOU, YET, YOU, YOU WILL, YOU CAN, fin