Words matter, and far too many people repeat the language that permeates the field of mainstream political and social discourse. The father of modern linguistics, Ferdinand de Saussure, said that language is a “system of signs”. Words are like pictures, and when we think of a word, an image of the object comes to mind. Like me, George Carlin was interested in language and how it’s been used, some would say ‘hijacked’, by the dominant ideology to shape the way we see the world and ourselves. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuEQixrBKCc
In political discourse certain words and their definitions are mini soundbites. They are hooks onto which an argument can be attached and they are guides to direct the perspective of the opponent or the observer.
New words and new meanings for existing words acquire a majority consensus for their respective definitions quickly which are difficult to alter. Many of these definitions are specifically designed to hide or to distort.
For example, “alt-right” was invented as a tool to humanise and to downplay extreme-right racists, “populist” was given a new definition that sought to obscure the extreme-right nature of the politics to which the word is applied, “gig economy” was invented as a jaunty neutral description of low paid, insecure, unsafe, unregulated employment with no statutory rights, and “moderate” was given a new political definition that sought to describe nothingness as a viable entity…
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