Language is based in threes. Sender, message, receiver. Subject verb object. A language involves a semantic system, a phonological system, and a syntactic system. Phonetics study the sounds of languages from three basic points of view.
The enneagram figure is usually composed of three parts; a circle, an inner triangle (connecting 3-6-9) and an irregular hexagonal “periodic figure” (connecting 1-4-2-8-5-7). According to esoteric spiritual traditions, the circle symbolizes unity, the inner triangle symbolizes the “law of three” and the hexagon represents the “law of seven” (because 1-4-2-8-5-7-1 is the repeating decimal created by dividing one by seven in base 10 arithmetic). These three elements constitute the usual enneagram figure. Continue reading Enneagram
For those in need of a grammar refresh, the Oxford (or serial) comma is a comma placed between the last two items in a series of three or more. For instance, “I like cake, pizza, and ice cream.”
Proponents of the Oxford comma argue it’s necessary to avoid potential ambiguity.
In the example sentence, it’s clear I like three types of food in and of themselves. Remove it and the sentence reads, “I like cake, pizza and ice cream” — leading to the potential to read the last two items as one combination item. I no longer like pizza and ice cream on their own, one could argue; I like pizza and ice cream only when they’re together. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Continue reading Oxford comma
By the late Professor Alan Dundes of the University of California at Berkeley
Professor Allan Dundes
Students undertaking professional training in anthropology are rarely, if ever, required to formally study their own cultures. They must demonstrate competence in various topics and areas, but these do not normally include materials from their own cultures. They may be told that the identification and careful delineation of native categories may be crucial to a fuller understanding of that culture which they investigate, but their own native categories, the identification of which is equally important for an understanding of another culture, may not be considered at all. With our present knowledge of the cultural relativity of perception and cognition, it seems clear that students of anthropology should be encouraged to analyze their own native categories with the same care and methodological rigor that is demanded of them in their fieldwork in other cultures. If the reduction of ethnocentric bias is truly an ideal of anthropological scholarship, then anthropologists should go into the field with as comprehensive an understanding of the nature of their own culture as possible.
The rule of three describes triads of all types — any collection of three related elements. Two more specific triad variants are hendiatris and tricolon.
A hendiatris is a figure of speech where three successive words are used to express a central idea.
Examples of hendiatris include:
“Veni, vidi, vici.” [Julius Caesar]
“Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité“ [French motto]
“Citius, Altius, Fortius” [Olympic motto]
“Wine, women, and song” [Anonymous]
A tricolon is a series of three parallel elements (words or phrases). In a strict tricolon, the elements have the same length but this condition is often put aside.
Examples of tricola include:
“Veni, vidi, vici.” [Julius Caesar]
“Be sincere, be brief, be seated.” [Advice for speakers from Franklin D. Roosevelt]
“Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation – not because of  the height of our skyscrapers, or  the power of our military, or  the size of our economy.” [Barack Obama, Keynote speech to Democratic National Convention, July 2004]
“By habitually using these 3 phrases, you will strengthen your ability to effortlessly lead others in the direction that you want them to go. And that simply will make your role as a leader much more powerful and meaningful – something we all want when leading other people.”
“And here’s why…”
“Would you mind…”
“Does this make sense?”
An often-cited but frequently misunderstood communication study completed by UCLA researcher Albert Mehrabian found that 93% of communication comes from something other than the words used.
Translation – only 7% comes from the actual words themselves.
Sounds pretty straightforward, right?
So why is this nugget of useful information so commonly misunderstood? Because in reality, the study doesn’t really relate to understanding the literal meaning of the words that are communicated.
It really relates to the impact of the words or the impression the person has of the communicator.
What does it mean when people start a sentence with “Having said that….” ?
“Having said that” is a transitional phrase that has become more and more common in spoken language. When people say, “Having said that” it is a signal that they are going to say something which will contrast or disagree with what they said a moment ago. Take, for example, this quote from a man talking about his father’s death:
“He was 93 years old, so it was the natural way of things. Having said that, it’s still a shock when it actually happens, when your parent dies.”
Limericks are short poems of five lines having rhyme structure AABBA. It is officially described as a form of ‘anapestic trimeter’. The ‘anapest’ is a foot of poetic verse consisting of three syllables, the third longer (or accentuated to a greater degree) than the first two: da-da-DA.
Definition of Anapest
Anapest is a poetic device defined as a metrical foot in a line of a poem that contains three syllables wherein the first two syllables are short and unstressed followed by a third syllable that is long and stressed as given in this line “I must finish my journey alone.” Here the anapestic foot is marked in bold.
The Indian numerals discussed in our article Indian numerals form the basis of the European number systems which are now widely used. However they were not transmitted directly from India to Europe but rather came first to the Arabic/Islamic peoples and from them to Europe.
This report is a preliminary examination of lists occurring in natural conversation. It focuses upon the work which list-construction, as a task, allots to speakers, and some uses to which list-construction, as a resource, can be put by speakers.
The presence of three-part lists are first noted. Speakers and hearers orient to their three-part nature. The completed list can then constitute a turn at talk and the hearer can monitor the third component as a sign of turn completion. Lists can thereby’ be a conversational sequential resource.
By virtue of the three-part structure of some lists, members can orient to such matters as a “weak,” “absent,” or “missing” third part. Third items can be used to accomplish particular interactional work, such as topic-shifting and offense avoidance.
Further, a list can be constructed by more than one speaker. This feature may be used for a range of activities, including the achievement of interactional accord in situations of impending discord.
Merely to say that Peirce was extremely fond of placing things into groups of three, of trichotomies, and of triadic relations, would fail miserably to do justice to the overwhelming obtrusiveness in his philosophy of the number three.
Indeed, he made the most fundamental categories of all “things” of any sort whatsoever the categories of “Firstness,” “Secondness,” and “Thirdness,” and he often described “things” as being “firsts” or “seconds” or “thirds.”
For example, with regard to the trichotomy “possibility,” “actuality,” and “necessity,” possibility he called a first, actuality he called a second, and necessity he called a third. Again: quality was a first, fact was a second, and habit (or rule or law) was a third. Again: entity was a first, relation was a second, and representation was a third. Again: rheme (by which Peirce meant a relation of arbitrary adicity or arity) was a first, proposition was a second, and argument was a third.
The list goes on and on. Let us refer to Peirce’s penchant for describing things in terms of trichotomies and triadic relations as Peirce’s “triadism.”