Many supporters and critics of Korzybski reduced his rather complex system to a simple matter of what he said about the verb 'to be.' His system however, is based primarily on such terminology as the different 'orders of abstraction,' and formulations such as 'consciousness of abstracting.' It is also often said that Korzybski actually ''opposed'' the use of the verb "to be," an unfortunate exaggeration (see 'Criticisms' below). He thought that ''certain uses'' of the verb "to be," called the "is of identity" and the "is of [[E-prime#The different functions of .27to be.27|predication]]," were faulty in structure, e.g., a statement such as, "Joe is a fool" (said of a person named 'Joe' who has done something that we regard as dumb). In Korzybski's system, one's assessment of Joe belongs to a higher order of abstraction than Joe himself. Korzybski's remedy was to ''deny'' identity; in this example, to be continually aware that 'Joe' is ''not'' what we ''call'' him. We find Joe not in the verbal domain, the world of words, but the nonverbal domain (the two, he said, amount to different orders of abstraction). This was expressed in Korzybski's most famous premise, "[[Map-territory relation|the map is not the territory]]." Note that "the map is not the territory," uses the phrase "is not", a form of the verb "to be." This example (one of many) shows that he did not intend to abandon the verb as such. In fact, he expressly said that there were no structural problems with the verb 'to be' when used as an [[E-prime#The different functions of .27to be.27|auxiliary verb]] or when used to state existence or location. It was even 'OK' sometimes to use the faulty forms of the verb 'to be,' as long as one was aware of their structural limitations.
==Anecdote about Korzybski==
One day, Korzybski was giving a lecture to a group of students, and he suddenly interrupted the lesson in order to retrieve a packet of biscuits, wrapped in white paper, from his briefcase. He muttered that he just had to eat something, and he asked the students on the seats in the front row, if they would also like a biscuit. A few students took a biscuit. "Nice biscuit, don't you think", said Korzybski, while he took a second one. The students were chewing vigorously. Then he tore the white paper from the biscuits, in order to reveal the original packaging. On it was a big picture of a dog's head and the words "Dog Cookies". The students looked at the package, and were shocked. Two of them wanted to throw up, put their hands in front of their mouths, and ran out of the lecture hall to the toilet. "You see, ladies and gentlemen", Korzybski remarked, "I have just demonstrated that people don't just eat food, but also words, and that the taste of the former is often outdone by the taste of the latter." Apparently his prank aimed to illustrate how human suffering originates from the confusion or conflation of linguistic representations of reality and reality itself. (Source: R. Diekstra, ''Haarlemmer Dagblad'', 1993, cited by L. Derks & J. Hollander, ''Essenties van NLP'' (Utrecht: Servire, 1996), p. 58).
kuoli [[March 1]], [], in [[Lakeville, Connecticut]], [[United States|USA]].