Dear Blog Writer, Editorialist, or Distinguished Journalist for a Nationally Sold Publication:
I was reading your piece because the subject is of interest to me and you were making lots of sense. It was early in the essay, so you were still getting to your thesis.
Suddenly you stopped me short. I could not read one word further. Apparently you absolutely had to use a meaningless word.
It’s a word which excludes a good part of our society because many, many people find it offensive.
So I am reading your thoughts, the insightful thoughts of an adult who is respected in his or her field, I am taking you seriously, and suddenly you turn into a naughty 11 year old boy.
You cause me to discredit everything you say. Your credibility is at zero.
You sound as though you are stupid.
You suck any humor out of your comedy.
I stop reading you, permanently. I move on.
When? When you use those words. You know the ones I mean.
It seems you only want to communicate with a select slice of the population. You know, the ones who already think just like you. You sure don’t want to try to communicate with someone who doesn’t already agree with your whole thing. Imagine persuading someone on the other side of an issue. Those people are uncool.
Using those words reflects your peer-consciousness rather than a priority to communicate your thoughts.
You tell me, when you use those words, that you are not creative enough, or diligent enough, to find the words you really mean. You make a conscious choice to use a vulgar slang word which has lost all—all–meaning.
“Hm…word which expresses exactly what I mean…..or…..meaningless swear word which shows off my hipness…what to do?…”
You tell me that you are so self-consciously peer-dependent that you must confirm early and often that you identify with your slice of the population; that you care much more about your status among your society of preference than you do about your commission to inform or to provoke thought.
You show me what you think of me also. You tell me that you think I am in awe of your words, and I am willing to fill in the blanks, supplying what you were too lazy to say. You show me that you think I am peer-dependent too because you think I will be willing to translate for you into the pre-digested thoughts we already agree on, because we’re all in the same club.
You are limiting, rather than expanding, thought with your language. Newspeak doesn’t need to be imposed; it’s voluntary.
You think I will be satisfied with your broad suggestion, and that I don’t deserve your concise, thoughtful statements.
You demean me. You demean yourself. You diminish human communication.
Thank you for your time.
“The Bible teaches that the Creator gave us the gift of language because he loved us. Love includes communication, and the communication of great ideas requires great language.” ~ Vishal Mangalwadi, The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization
Pingback: NIN | Messages from the Mythical