‘Man is the symbol-using animal’ ‘Take away our books, and what little do we know about history, biography, even something so “down to earth” as the relative position of seas and continents? What is our “reality” for today (beyond the paper-thin line of our own particular lives) but all this clutter of symbols about the past combined with whatever things we know mainly through maps, magazines, newspapers, and the like about the present? In school, as they go from class to class, students turn from one idiom to another. The various courses in the curriculum are in effect but so many different terminologies. And however important to us is the tiny sliver of reality each of us has experienced firsthand, the whole overall “picture” is but a construct of our symbol systems.’ (Kenneth Burke, Language as Symbolic Action (1968))
Toye, Richard (2013-03-28). Rhetoric: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (p. 73). Oxford University Press, USA. Kindle Edition.