Bourland and Morain on Alfred Korzybski

This post includes four video recollections of Alfred Korzybski: a three-part interview with D. David Bourland, Jr., and a later interview with Lloyd Morain.

D. David Bourland, Jr.

Steve Stockdale sat down with David Bourland at his home in Wichita Falls, TX, on May 26, 1997, to record his recollections about Alfred Korzybski and general semantics. As a 19-yr old, David lived and worked at the Institute of General in Lime Rock, CT, with Korzybski, M. Kendig, and Charlotte Read, for a year.

During that year, he noted that Korzybski would often warn against the problems inherent in the English grammatical structure of two types of “is” statements – is of identity and is of predication. That being (intentional) the case, David (a mathematician) asked, why not entirely eliminate the usage of all types of these two pernicious (to some) verb forms? He called this use of English without all to-be verb forms E’, written as E-Prime. He gained some notoriety (positive and negative) for his advocacy of this formulation, culminating with an article pubished in The Atlantic Magazine (February 1992), “To Be” in Their Bonnets

In the years preceeding his death in 2000, he served on the board of the International Society for General Semantics. Edited by Steve in three parts:

  • Part 1 (14:33)
  • Part 2 (15:43)
  • Part 3 (14:49)

Lloyd Morain (33:01)

Lloyd and his wife Mary were early financial and enthusiastic supporters of Korzybski and general semantics. In particular they were instrumental in growing the International Society for General Semantics in its core area in the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area. Mary Stone Dewing Morain died in June 1999, about a year before this interview with Lloyd. Lloyd died in July 2010. In addition to general semantics, the two supported and advocated for Planned Parenthood and humanism. Mary’s Wikipedia page. Lloyd’s Wikipedia page.