Milton v Meta

Langage patterns are as per the Milton Model with the relevant Meta Model response after. These are useful in a coaching and conversational context to challenge and free up thinking.



It’s not there

Meta Model Response

What’s not where?

Your work is better

Meta Model Response

Better than what?
Better than who?

Unspecified Referential Index

No-one cares about me

It doesn’t matter

Meta Model Response

Who doesn’t care?

What specifically doesn’t matter?

Unspecified Verb

They are fed up

Meta Model Response

How exactly have they become fed up?


Where the verb has become a noun

Our communication must improve

Meta Model Response

How should we communicate better?

We want recognition

Meta Model Response

How do they want to be recognised


Modal Operator of Necessity

Must, should, ought, have to

I must finish this –

Meta Model Response

What would happen if you didn’t

They should have realised this

Meta Model Response

What’s the worst thing that could happen?

Modal Operator of Possibility

Can’t, won’t

They can’t perform this evening

Meta Model Response

What stops them? What would happen if they could?

He won’t do the work on time

Meta Model Response

What stops him? What if he did?

Universal Quantifiers

Everyone, all, never, always, no-one

Everyone knows this is a problem

Meta Model Response

Everyone? Can you think of someone who doesn’t?

I never get it right

Meta Model Response

Never? Can you think of a time when you did?


Lost Performative
The authority behind the statement is missing

It’s wrong to swear

Meta Model Response

Who says?

Mind Reading

I know you think I’m extravagant

Meta Model Response

How do you know? What is your evidence?

Cause and Effect

Where X causes Y

They make me angry

Meta Model Response

How do they do that? Because…?

I want to but my partner won’t let me

Meta Model Response

If they did let you would you do it? How are they able to stop you?

Complex Equivalence

Where X means, or is equivalent to, Y

Arriving late means you don’t care

Meta Model Response

How does my lateness tell you that? How are lateness and caring connected?