This is an excellent article on how liberals have used words to obfuscate reality. Unfortunately, doublespeak seems to have seeped into the republican party and some conservative circles.
This is why I beat up Liberals in both Parties over word definitions, I won’t play these games and no Conservative should.
The integrity of the language is essential to communicate the message with integrity, give up the former and the latter will never even have a shot to be heard.
RET: Absolutely. Propaganda is all about subtle lies through words–and changing the meaning of words, or applying meanings to words that never were intended. Joseph Goebbels was the minister of propaganda in the Nazi party and he had the skill down to a science…
Here’s Dr. Thomas Sowell on the problem with words…
I am so glad I joined RO. Whenever I spoke my opinion to friends, family and strangers, they looked at me as if I was foreign to them. I was starting to think I was nutty myself. But here I see so many people who think like I do and it is reassuring. It is the world being influenced by the media and cleverspeak. I remember wondering why “cool” meant that is was a good thing to be indifferent, and “bad” (in the 80s) or “wicked” were also masquerading as something positive. I guess if you can use trends to confuse kids and teens then they become confused adults, which leads to a confused society.
That’s how I felt at my last group mee… Um, I mean yeah! When I joined here I got that. Also when I first heard Rush Limbaugh.
The modern misrepresentation of the word “decadent” is a pet peeve with me.
Often when my husband and I discuss politics, and I express my point of view, he points out that he just heard Rush say the same thing.
Is that not just the natural evolution of language though? There’s never been a time where any language has been set in stone, they all exist in a state of constant flux and it’s one of the greatest joys of the linguistic world that they do. Plus the evolution of youth language pretty much always develops from the bottom up, although I’m sure many a marketing company desperately wishes it could project it’s own chosen keywords downwards. Cool for example came from the Jazz movement which in it’s base form was pretty much completely dettached from the media at large, unless the media was virulently condemning it. The later evolution of terms into mainstream use, often by the media, may manipulate the value of the word but that’s driven by the profit motive I’d say, not any sense of social manipulation. I can think of nothing worse than a static language though.
As to the evolution of political language, I’d agree that that is all too often just a distraction tactic to hide political ineptness or corruption (be it Right or Left). ‘Political Correctness’ is an odd one though, in the UK it’s almost exclusively cited by the Right to attack perceived attacks on their opinions - for me though that often seems a front for defending being outright rude. Some things are offensive, insulting and inappropriate, that you have the right to say them doesn’t mean people don’t have an equal right to think you a fool for doing so and the ‘PC gone mad’ line just seems like a straw man to me.
Funny, it was from the UK that I got my first taste of PC. A group of people (a school board, or similar, I think) were discussing books appropriate for reading in the lower grades. They took one, and the discussion pretty much was, it was about a black horse owned by a little white girl. RACIST! That must not be permitted. I laughed, trying to imagine any one falling for that nonsense. But it seems that a lot of people have.
Really need context before I’m willing to believe that. We have a national curriculum for starters and it’s unlikely you were at a meeting where that was being decided on. May have been a parent teacher association meeting but they have no power to decide things, they just have opinions which only carry weight if parents are concertedly willing to push them forward. Also depends on the book and it’s contents, may have been more objectionable than your summary of it suggests or may just have been not very good. At a guess I’d say it might be Black Beauty which probably wouldn’t be on a school reading list anyway as it’s not exactly a literary classic of note and I can’t imagine anyone would object to it on the grounds of the horse being black as it has nothing whatsoever to do with racial issues, being about horses and all. Plus we have a very different history of racism here, may be that you perceive things in a way which just doesn’t apply to our society or history as it does yours.
That was exactly what they said, the school board members who were discussing it, that it was unacceptable because the little white girl having a black horse was racist.
We don’t have school boards though.
Well, I don’t know what it was called, just know that they were a group of people whose task was to decide what books were suitable/unsuitable for school children. They certainly had some control over school curricula. They were probably at a higher level than the local school boards in our country.