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America’s Word War

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I was struggling to come up with a headline that adequately captures all I’ve been thinking about lately. I spend a lot of time–too much, I freely admit–thinking about communication and its limits. What is it that we say? What is it that we mean? Who’s doing the communicating? What’s the medium? That’s my short list, but I could go on. Even within that short list, however, there’s an awful lot to mine. In America, a lot of what we say, what we mean, and which media we use to communicate what we claim to mean, is rooted in lies. And that failure to communicate truthfully is intentional. Because in America, it’s not only guns that are weapons; it’s words. And words in America might be the most dangerous weapons of all.

The irony of word choice in America is that it is also the shield of choice for cowards, for people who proclaim themselves defenders and upholders, but manipulate language to create a smokescreen behind which true meaning hides. Perhaps the most glaring and obvious linguistic obfuscation lies in the term pro-life. The plain meaning of the term, you would think, is that those who declare themselves pro-life are the people who cherish living beings above all else.

The problem in America, of course, is that those who wrap themselves gleefully in the banner of........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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