Monday, 30 January 2017

Information Exchange Strategy Model

It turns out that words can be plastic.
[Plastic words] are incredibly malleable yet empty when it comes to their actual meaning. Plastic words have surreptitiously seeped into our everyday language and dictate how we think. They have been imported from the languages of science, technology and mathematics, and thus appear to be imbued with their authority.
I think this goes someway towards explaining my fury at words like "curate" and "artisanal". It's not that in a proper context they don't have meaning, it's more that that original meaning is sapped when used to mean something much lesser.

And, as the article says, when it happens to words like "safety" and "security" and "welfare" then it facilitates all sorts unconscionable behaviour.

As an aside: I used to say this, and will still say it occasionally, about "evil". There are many things that are unpleasant, nasty or just plain horrible but calling these things evil means we have no word for when something truly evil happens. Of course, when something truly evil does happen we will probably need no words.

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