My final thoughts on Language
By the time this post goes live we’ll be a week or more away from the whole Don Imus thing. I’m sure people are talking about something else now. The Virginia Tech shooting or the war or something stupid a politician said/did.
I did not comment on the issue back when it was new and fresh and happening. And I don’t plan on saying anything about it now. Not directly. The only thing I have to offer is the words of others:
“Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?” – Rush Limbaugh, host of a radio program syndicated on nearly 600 radio stations nationwide
“Many, many, many of the poor in New Orleans are in that condition. They weren’t going to leave no matter what you did. They were drug-addicted. They weren’t going to get turned off from their source. They were thugs, whatever.” – Bill O’Reilly, host of a radio program syndicated on over 400 radio stations nationwide
“A woman not only who was distasteful physically, but is distasteful mentally. […] This hag, this hack, this brisket maker has the audacity to say that we should be having a dialogue with the Hitler of our time — coming from that hag who happens to be Jewish is a triple disgrace.” – Michael Savage (on former Secretary of State Madeline Albright), host of a radio program syndicated on 400 radio stations nationwide
“She looks like a ghetto slut. It’s just — it’s hideous. No, it’s not braided. It just flies away from her head in every conceivable direction. It looks like an explosion in a Brillo pad factory. It’s just hideous.” – Neil Boortz (on U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney), host of a radio program syndicated on over 300 radio stations nationwide
“I didn’t think I could hate [Hurricane Katrina] victims faster than the 9/11 victims.” – Glenn Beck, host of a CNN Headline News television program and a radio program syndicated on over 250 radio stations nationwide
from 5 Statements Made by Radio Personalities Who Have Not Been Fired on East Village Idiot.
Don’t grok me? How about this:
…the decadence of our language is probably curable. Those who deny this would argue, if they produced an argument at all, that language merely reflects existing social conditions, and that we cannot influence its development by any direct tinkering with words and constructions. So far as the general tone or spirit of language goes, this may be true, but it is not true in detail. Silly words and expressions have often disappeared, not through any evolutionary process but owing to the conscious action of a minority.
from Politics and the English Language, George Orwell
Language is Power. What are you going to do with it?