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Carry a torch

Posted by Smokey Stover on January 11, 2006

In Reply to: Carry a torch posted by Bob on January 06, 2006

: : Okay, I read all of your previous articles on "carry a torch" I've got it being used differently. Context is talking about Aristotelian syllogism. Then it says "One boy who carried the torch against this was so hot about it that his banner was on high practically all the years of his life. And he had the symbol 'null-A.' And that was Mr. Korzybski. 'Null-A.' His plaintive cry against the universe was: "Why, in the name of God, did anybody ever invent a syllogism!'" (as a note, null-A means non-Aristotelian)

: Doesn't seem like a different use to me. Admittedly, carrying a torch "against" is a bit unusual in this example, but it's consistent with carry a torch "for," as in a devotion to a lost cause.

If the "boy" who carried the torch was Alfred Korzybski, I think the quotation is a bit misleading. Korzybski may have been part-genius, part-crank, but he didn't really carry the toch until his boyhood was over. SS