George Lakoff

George Lakoff

George Lakoff is the author of The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic (co-authored with Elizabeth Wehling). His previous books include Moral Politics, Don't Think of an Elephant!, Whose Freedom? and Thinking Points (with the Rockridge Institute staff). He is Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley, and a founding senior fellow at the Rockridge Institute.

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016
A Minority President Trump: Why the Polls Failed and What the Majority Can Do
1: The American Majority Hillary Clinton won the majority of votes in this year’s presidential election. The loser, for the majority of voters, will now be a minority president-elect. Don't let anyone forget it. Keep referring to Trump as the minority president, Mr. Minority and the overall Loser...
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Sunday, September 25, 2016
Thwimpie: A Spoiled Brat Named Little Donnie Thwimp
As strange as it may sound, the sound symbolism of a name has become an unnamed central issue in the 2016 presidential campaign. As a cognitive linguist, my job is to study the issue and, at the very least, to name it. Perhaps the best-known discussion of naming occurs in Juliet’s soliloquy in...
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Understanding Trump's Use of Language
This piece is a follow-up of a Lakoff's article, Understanding Trump , published by Common Dreams last month. Responsible reporters in the media normally transcribe political speeches so that they can accurately report them. But Donald Trump’s discourse style has stumped a number of reporters. Dan...
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Friday, July 22, 2016
Understanding Trump
There is a lot being written spoken about Trump by intelligent and articulate commentators whose insights I respect. But as a longtime researcher in cognitive science and linguistics, I bring a perspective from these sciences to an understanding of the Trump phenomenon. This perspective is hardly...
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Thursday, March 03, 2016
Why Trump?
Donald Trump is winning Republican presidential primaries at such a great rate that he seems likely to become the next Republican presidential nominee and perhaps the next president. Democrats have little understanding of why he is winning — and winning handily, and even many Republicans don't see...
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Charles J. Fillmore (1929-2014): A Friend and One of the World's Greatest Linguists
Charles J. Fillmore, one of the world’s greatest linguists — ever — died last Thursday, February 13, at the age of 84 in San Francisco. He was the discoverer of frame semantics, who did the essential research on the nature of framing in thought and language. He discovered that we think, largely unconsciously, in terms of conceptual frames — mental structures that organize our thought. Further, he found that every word is mentally defined in terms of frame structures.
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Monday, January 27, 2014
SOTU 2014: The Cognitive Power of the President
There are enough people guessing what the president will do. This is about what he almost certainly won’t do, but what I would like him to do.
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013
The New York Times Uncovers Conservative Attacks and Then Prints One; Both Are on the Front Page
The NY Times has many virtues and some important flaws. Both were evident on the paper's front page this week and there is a lot to be learned by what did and did not appear there.
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Friday, September 06, 2013
Obama Reframes Syria: Metaphor and War Revisited
President Obama has reframed his position on Syria, adjusting the Red Line metaphor: It wasn’t his Red Line, not his responsibility for drawing it. It was the Red Line drawn by the world, by the international community—both legally by international treaty, and morally by universal revulsion against the use of poison gas by Assad.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Why Ultra-Conservatives Like the Sequester
Paul Krugman, Joe Stiglitz, Robert Reich and other major economists have pointed out that the deficit is not an urgent economic problem and that, to the contrary, the economy would be helped by an increase in public investment and harmed by drastic cuts.
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