The language paradox

Language can either work for you, or against you. Because it’s not just some “words”, it’s the mental and cultural architecture that frames the way we think and the way we are able to express ourselves. And it’s not necessarily all about the grammar and the punctuation, it’s also about the meaning and the effect we let words have over us.

For example, when a military power accidentally slaughters innocent bystanders, it’s not military incompetence resulting in the senseless death of innocent civilians anymore. No, it’s, as the media calls it, just “collateral damage”. The last time I checked, “collateral” is a type of payment somebody puts down when applying for a loan or a similar service. And I don’t think that there’s any  dead civilians out there who ever  agreed to have their lives put up as an insurance for a morally questionable military intervention. But that’s just an example of one party using  the power of language and making it work for them.

With the english language, all numbers between 12 and 20 have a “teen” suffix added to them. So as a result, anyone that’s under 20  can be referred to as being a “teenager”, which in my opinion can explain the higher age of majority in certain anglophone jurisdictions. As far as the law, and as far as anyone else  is concerned, any 18 year-old in Quebec is an adult, not a teenager. Because there’s no ” teen” related suffix for numerals in french. But all the other 18 to 19 year olds in all the other anglophone provinces of Canada will always be referred to as being quite up to the level of an adult, because they’re still “teenagers”. That’s what happens when language works against you.

As some of you might have noticed, I keep  going back to my  point that  “a representative democracy” isn’t the same as “a democracy”. That’s because I refuse to let the politico media establishment hijack the way we think just like that. Information is power. And propaganda has always been less effective on an educated populace.

Ideally, everyone should be vigilant and skeptical about everything that’s being said by politicians and the mainstream media, and about the way they say it. But the reality is that we live in the age of infotainment, objectivity flew out the window a long time ago…


11 responses to “The language paradox

  1. The world has yet to see a True Democracy. We have a pseudo Democracy which is just a front for the reality of our Plutocracy.

    Definition of PLUTOCRACY
    1: government by the wealthy
    2: a controlling class of the wealthy

    The online definition of Democracy is not as detailed as the Book definition of the word:

    1. A theory of government which in it’s purest form holds that the state should be controlled by all the people, each sharing equally in privileges, duties and responsibilities and each participating in person in the government…..

    The people must 1st learn to govern themselves.

    In my view, the Global Occupy Movement is trying to develop some kind of direct Democracy through trial and error.

  2. I’d forever want to be update on new content on this website , saved to bookmarks ! .

  3. siegfried von blitzburger

    Couldn’t agree more with you…

    But does it really matter how they spell it ?… Most of the time the “educated populace” figures out the truth about anything, its too late…or they simply just dont care.. the biggest scandalls in history could make the front page, doesnt take long before people start forgetting and concerning themselves with Britney Spears next blunder or Paris Hiltons next porn tape..

    My question is, if people start really paying attention to how things are being said . What do you do then? I always kinda laugh a bit when i read “between the lines” in some next articles…( thinking:”there they go again”). But a chuckle to myself is as far as i ever see it going…

    Preventive measures or would my political activism be considered terrorism by the main stream media…

    • Paying attention to when we’re being lied to is the first step in my opinion. We need to have the ability to notice the problem before we can dream of fixing it. Personally, I just wish journalists would call out the politicians when they’re just twisting language to justify their means.

      But you’re right, it’s hard to foster a revolutionary spirit when people are fat and content. In the olden days of the Roman empire, it used to be bread and games for the people. In our time, it’s 2-for-1 bigmacs and reality shows for the masses.

  4. I really appreciate what you post. You have a new subscriber now.

  5. Military phraseology is second to none. War is a freakishly bizarre human failing, so phrases like “collateral damage” keep us desensitized enough to avoid thinking about the obviously unobvious question: “What the hell are we doing?” Incidentally, you are welcome to post comments and link back to your blog anytime you like. Cross-pollination is encouraged.

  6. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism
    or copyright infringement? My website has a lot of completely unique content I’ve
    either written myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my agreement.
    Do you know any methods to help prevent content from being stolen?
    I’d certainly appreciate it.

    • Yeah, I’ve had that happen, but as long as they don’t profit from the material, I don’t have too much of a problem with it. To protect yourself, I would say to make sure to list yourself as the copyright holder in the “properties” section of your work. You might also want to add a watermark to any pictures or art you have created. We don’t have the technology for Inspector Gadget style,self-destructing messages yet. So either you wait until that’s invented, or you could always contact a lawyer. I hope that helps. ^_^

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