22 Feb 13
These excellent comments from a friend and academician:
“Language serves us, not only by providing an ability to clearly and efficiently communicate, one person to another. It also provides us with an ecumenical ‘vocabulary of concepts.’ For us to integrate bits of raw information and, from that, form concepts and principles, our agreed-upon vocabulary must be accurate and precise.
Marketers, politicians, and other shallow propagandists are experts at undermining the precision of our vocabulary, strictly for their own short-term gain, as you noted. For example, ‘journalists’ at Fox News apparently don’t know the difference between the terms ‘kill’ and ‘murder,’ as they carelessly use them interchangeably when reporting details of crime stories.
At a more guttural level, other media journalists promiscuously banter about ‘thirty-round bullet-clips’ and ‘machine-guns’ (when actually referring to semi-automatic rifles). They talk about ‘bullets’ when they mean ‘cartridges.’ Police officers don’t just ‘shoot’ violent criminals. They apparently have to ‘blast’ them. The media’s willful, arrogant ignorance is not just an example of naive incompetence. It is all agenda-driven. They not only ‘don’t know what they don’t know.’ They don’t want to know!
The way we communicate reflects the way we think. Our ability to communicate honestly, clearly, efficiently, and precisely drives the advancement of this civilization and our progress as individuals. Our wonderful English Language provides a powerful instrument, but we’re rejecting it. And, as a country and culture, we are predictably falling on our collective faces!”
“Various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman World were all considered by the people to be equally true, by philosophers to be equally false, and by politicians to be equally useful.”