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Outstanding work on a topic of direct relevance to general semantics

About the S. I. Hayakawa Book Prize

First given in 2009, the Institute of General Semantics awards the S. I. Hayakawa Book Prize to the most outstanding work published in the past five years on topics of direct relevance to the discipline of general semantics.  The prize includes a cash award of $1,000.

About S. I. Hayakawa

S. I. Hayakawa

Samuel Ichiye Hayakawa (1906–1992) — popularly known as “S. I.” and familiarly known as “Don” — was the author of the best-selling general semantics text Language in Thought and Action, the founder of the International Society of General Semantics, and the first editor of ETC: A Review of General Semantics.

Dr. Hayakawa was also a college president, a United States senator from California, and an expert on traditional jazz.

Nominations

Competition for the annual Hayakawa Book Prize is open to any book published in the past five years on topics and themes of direct relevance to the discipline of general semantics, including:

  • time-binding
  • abstraction
  • language
  • symbols
  • meaning
  • communication
  • media
  • perception
  • consciousness
  • epistemology
  • scientific method
  • etc.

To nominate a book, send a letter of nomination and three copies of the book by August 31st of the nomination year to:

Martin H. Levinson
Institute of General Semantics
Attn: Hayakawa Prize
72-11 Austin Street #233
Forest Hills, NY 11375

For more information on the Hayakawa Book Prize, contact IGS.

Past Recipients

2020s

Nine Nasty Words: English in the Gutter: Then, Now, and Forever

2021 - Nine Nasty Words: English in the Gutter: Then, Now, and Forever

by John H. McWhorter (Avery, 2021)

Presentation Video

The Beauty of Detours: A Batesonian Philosophy of Technology

2020 - The Beauty of Detours: A Batesonian Philosophy of Technology

by Yoni Van Den Eede (SUNY Press, 2019)

Presentation & Acceptance Videos

2010s


2019 - How Do You Know?: A Guide to Clear Thinking About Wall Street, Investing, and Life

by Christopher Mayer (Bonner & Partners, 2018)

Presentation & Acceptance Videos

Reading Alfred Korzybski through Inter-Theoretic Explorations

2018 - Reading Alfred Korzybski through Inter-Theoretic Explorations

by TRS Sharma (Pencraft International, 2018)

Acceptance Speech

Presentation & Acceptance Videos


2017 - The Kingdom of Speech

by Tom Wolfe (Little, Brown and Company, 2016)

Presentation & Acceptance Videos

General Semantics: A Critical Companion

2016 - General Semantics: A Critical Companion

Edited by Deepa Mishra (Pencraft International, 2014)

Presentation Video

Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other

2015 - Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other

by Sherry Turkle (Basic Books, 2012)

Presentation Video

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

2014 - The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

by Elizabeth Kolbert (Henry Hold and Co., 2014)

Presentation Video

In Thought and Action: The Enigmatic Life of S. I. Hayakawa

2013 - In Thought and Action: The Enigmatic Life of S. I. Hayakawa

by Gerald and Janice Haslam (Bison Books, 2011)

Presentation & Acceptance Video


2012 - Uncapping Family Wisdom: Recognizing, Treating, and Reconciling Transgenerational Dysfunction

by Sandra Pate (Phillip Monroe Publishing, 2011)

Presentation Video


2011 - Korzybski: A Biography

by Bruce I. Kodish (Pasadena, CA: Extensional Publishing, 2011)

Presentation Video

Acceptance Video

Graymanship

2010 - Graymanship

by Bob Eddy (Lake Mary, FL: GIST Publishing Co., 2010)


2000s


2009 - The Hidden Side of Babel: Unveiling Cognition, Intelligence and Sense

by Laura Bertone (Buenos Aries: Evolución, 2006)

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