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Author Topic: Words  (Read 895 times)

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Offline ChaplinGuy

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  • Eat my left foot
« on: January 10, 2007, 01:19:10 PM »

Some fodder to think about:

Next time you're debating an issue, pay close attention to the words you're using and think about how/why/from whom those words were shaped.

I saw Frank Luntz today (if you're wondering, yes, he is the asshole he seems to be), and felt compelled to think back about the words I use in meetings and discussions with people here in Washington. I was surprised at how much my own lexicon has been influenced (like it or not) by the phraseology behind specific issues of the day.

Guys like Luntz are very good at changing the debate not by attacking the issue, but by softening how serious or threatening the issue sounds. Some examples:

"The War in Iraq" was changed to "The War On Terror"

"Capitalism" became "Free Markets"

"Republican Promise for America" became "Contract (with America)"

"Global Warming" became "Climate Change"

"Clear Cutting" and "Logging" became "Thinning" and the "Healthy Forests Initiative"

"Privatize" became "Personalize" (as in Social Security)

I was surprised by how many of the latter words I tend to use, given that my politics don't align with the administration's. Yet, it demonstrates how these kinds of strategies seep into our subconcious and we end up pushing/accepting them into the public dialogue.

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: Words
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2007, 01:24:51 PM »
"Republican Promise for America" became "Contract (with America)"

 >:( heh, when did i ever sign on the dotted line!?! oh yeah, never >:(

Offline Boo Radley

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Re: Words
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2007, 02:01:13 PM »
I had to google Frank Luntz to find out who he is.  The first site I went to had one of those professional photos of his face and I almost jumped he's so creepy looking.  A pod person who still looks like a pod.

"The War in Iraq" was changed to "The War On Terror"
"Capitalism" became "Free Markets"
"Republican Promise for America" became "Contract (with America)"
"Global Warming" became "Climate Change"
"Clear Cutting" and "Logging" became "Thinning" and the "Healthy Forests Initiative"
"Privatize" became "Personalize" (as in Social Security)

I never heard of the Republican Promise for America but "Contract with..." sounds vaguely familiar.  Except for that one I invariably use the first term in each of your examples.   Hearing "the war on terror" makes my blood pressure increase and one can't help laughing at such ludicrous newspeak as "Healthy Forests Initiative."

I know I say this ad nauseum but since I stopped reading paper journals and stopped watching television programming, including news and infotainment,  I feel less stressed. 

String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!

Everything I do, say, think, excrete, secrete, exude, ooze, or write 2007 Sweet Old Boo, Inc.

Offline ChaplinGuy

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  • Posts: 236
  • Eat my left foot
Re: Words
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2007, 02:13:00 PM »

Boo, you just made me laugh! Sounds like you've found a solution I should consider. I am always getting my stress level up, screaming at the television when something moronic makes (or doesn't make) the evening news. If I wasn't so addicted to CNBC, I'd say I need to follow in your lead and unplug everything for good.

Interesting that given your removal from all the syntax of today's political shop talk your vocabulary falls on the first set of wording as opposed to the (recently manufactured) latter category.

There's a social experiment in here somewhere, I know it.


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