What am I doing here? Just defending the language

What am I doing here? Just defending the language
Copyright Lincoln Park Zoo

It's good to be back. Not being able to talk without coughing has been a good way to slow down and think some things through. (The cough's nearly gone, but it's slow work in this weather.) Looking at the mirror with the sort of expression my friendly sea lion shows in the photo has led to some thinking about this blog. Don't panic, I'm not going anywhere... but now I can write about what I'm thinking.

Why don't I write anything political? I've asked myself. Well, I've answered, in the past month or so, what isn't political?

There have been far too many times while I've been sick that I'd have screamed, if I could, at the language in the news. Newspeak, George Orwell's prophetic version of totalitarian language in his book "1984," is blooming all over Washington.

I'm heartened by the number of columnists, reporters and other analysts who are resisting the government's attempts to redefine lies as truth.

I'm in the back lines of the fight here. I'm not talking to news sources, but I'm writing to news consumers (that's you). "Words Worth Defending," one of the early categories for my writing here, now seems to apply to every word in the language.

If we don't have words -- and agree on their meanings -- we'll be helpless. I won't sit still for that.

So that's what I'm doing here... defending the English language.

Join in!


Filed under: Uncategorized


Leave a comment
  • Glad you're better. Keep up the fight.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Aye-aye, sir!

  • Write on!

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    Copy that!

  • As my mother said (and I think I mentioned on The Quark), it isn't 1984, it's 1934.
    Other than that, I'm counting the number of grammar mistakes in a Miller Lite commercial.

  • In reply to jack:

    Yes, I think 1934 is a very apt comparison, too.
    As for Miller Lite, you're doing that and you have time to comment, too? Wow.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    They pack them in in 20 seconds; far less time than it takes to sign in here.

  • Today's Pearls Before Swine reprises a topic you have discussed.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks for keeping me up to date, Jack.

  • I don't know whether, in defending the language, you have written about metaphors. They are a wonderful communication device, but every person trying to use them has found how easily they are mixed beyond recognition. There was an example in the President's address to Congress last night. In trying to explain the protest that swept him into office, Donald Trump said that it started as "quiet voices became a loud chorus." So far, so good. But then he said, "Finally, the chorus became an earthquake...." Chorus became earthquake? The imagery doesn't follow for me.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Loud enough to frack Pennsylvania.

  • In reply to jack:

    The oil companies can probably be called a choir, but not a chorus.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Good catch, jnorto! Yipe! It reminds me of a mixed metaphor Alexander McCall Smith intentionally left in a book -- about long shots coming home to roost, I think. The character was a bit dizzy at the time. Hmm.

Leave a comment