Friday, February 10, 2017

Our Use of Language

Well, greetings all!  I finally thought I would write about something that has been bothering me off and on for sometime, and has recently been rekindled.

That is our use of language.  I remember being upset when the 'right' so demonized Liberals and really attacked even the term.  Now, I'm from the Liberal school, probably the more traditional Liberal school of folks such as Humphrey and the LaFollettes.  I suppost the more "in vogue" term today is "Progressive."  Now that's not so bad, the Progressive Era here in the U. S. gave us many social advances.  But I have to wonder how and why we let the term "Liberal" be so maligned.

There has been lots written about the misuse of the words "terrorism" and terrorist."  If those terms are to be used, they should be used consistently.  However, that is not the case.

Another case in point right now for me comes in watching the way "protest" and "protester" are sometimes treated.  I think one reason the DAPL protesters wish to be called "water protectors" is because they sense sometimes spinners give "protest" and "protester" negative connotations.  Of this we should be very aware, and not let folks get away with attaching negative spin to what are our First Amendment Rights to Free Speech and Free Assembly.  

Then, there's the language which I have tried to protest by writing to The Guardian and also the editors of Commondreams (link to their site is in navbar...).  That is language such as "*****'s America" or "*****Land" or some such.  I have tried to get across that we should NOT give him the "brand", and also assert that this is OUR AMERICA, too.  And kudos to actress Viola Davis for not using such language.

When we have so many fronts to cover, you may wonder if language matters.  I believe that it does.  In this article, you can read of studies showing how language can affect our perceptions and even approaches to solving problems.  This piece talks about words and their use by media and possible effects on our thinking.  Finally, this op-ed from The Guardian talks about how we need to look at our use of language in our resistance efforts.

Thoughts? Would love to read them in comments!

So please remember, if this post or any here you find of value, do comment and/or share.  Thanks!

Related Post:

Whose America Is It? 

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