Lance Scranton: Words we shouldn’t use | CraigDailyPress.com
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Lance Scranton: Words we shouldn’t use

Lance Scranton
Lance Scranton

In the lexicon of appropriate words and phrases used to describe, it has come to my attention that we are throwing around (literally) words that don’t really mean anything and it’s having an impact on our culture. It is then appropriate to advance a partial list that will assist in the return to a more defined, less abstract tone in our collective discussion of nearly everything.

Included are the following.

Political correctnessPolitical correctness — There is nothing really correct about anyone who promotes political correctness except what they think is the way that people should think, act and believe. We all get caught up in it and we should resist this infringement on our free speech. The clearer word that should be used is, “dogma.” — There is nothing really correct about anyone who promotes political correctness except what they think is the way that people should think, act and believe. We all get caught up in it and we should resist this infringement on our free speech. The clearer word that should be used is, “dogma.”

Political correctness — There is nothing really correct about anyone who promotes political correctness except what they think is the way that people should think, act and believe. We all get caught up in it and we should resist this infringement on our free speech. The clearer word that should be used is, “dogma.”

GenderGender — It seems the more we use this slippery adjective, the more confused our society is becoming about sex. It would seem that gender allows me to be that which I feel is most appropriate for my particular expression without any clear biological distinction. The better phrase would be, “biological anatomical distinction” (seems as though science could help us out with this one). — It seems the more we use this slippery adjective, the more confused our society is becoming about sex. It would seem that gender allows me to be that which I feel is most appropriate for my particular expression without any clear biological distinction. The better phrase would be, “biological anatomical distinction” (seems as though science could help us out with this one).

Gender — It seems the more we use this slippery adjective, the more confused our society is becoming about sex. It would seem that gender allows me to be that which I feel is most appropriate for my particular expression without any clear biological distinction. The better phrase would be, “biological anatomical distinction” (seems as though science could help us out with this one).

IdentityIdentity — This is the one word that has entered our culture with a dizzying effect on nearly everything. If I don’t identify as a potential member of AARP because of my age, does that mean I can deny my biological age and identify as an 18 year-old and live my life the way I did 34 years ago? Wow, what a concept. Perhaps this is a word we need to keep around. Just kidding. The more accurate phrase in this context would be, “rejection of reality.” — This is the one word that has entered our culture with a dizzying effect on nearly everything. If I don’t identify as a potential member of AARP because of my age, does that mean I can deny my biological age and identify as an 18 year-old and live my life the way I did 34 years ago? Wow, what a concept. Perhaps this is a word we need to keep around. Just kidding. The more accurate phrase in this context would be, “rejection of reality.”

Identity — This is the one word that has entered our culture with a dizzying effect on nearly everything. If I don’t identify as a potential member of AARP because of my age, does that mean I can deny my biological age and identify as an 18 year-old and live my life the way I did 34 years ago? Wow, what a concept. Perhaps this is a word we need to keep around. Just kidding. The more accurate phrase in this context would be, “rejection of reality.”

What’s best for kidsWhat’s best for kids — A favorite phrase used predominantly in public education think tanks and the halls of Congress. Similar to so many other phrases some people use, it is intended to immediately put you on the defensive if you don’t agree with what they say next. It’s similar to, “we’re going to tell parents what their children can eat for lunch because … wait for it, … it’s what’s best for kids. The more appropriate phrase here should be, “disagree if you want but I’m going to make you look as bad as I can because I don’t really have a plausible argument.” — A favorite phrase used predominantly in public education think tanks and the halls of Congress. Similar to so many other phrases some people use, it is intended to immediately put you on the defensive if you don’t agree with what they say next. It’s similar to, “we’re going to tell parents what their children can eat for lunch because … wait for it, … it’s what’s best for kids. The more appropriate phrase here should be, “disagree if you want but I’m going to make you look as bad as I can because I don’t really have a plausible argument.”

What’s best for kids — A favorite phrase used predominantly in public education think tanks and the halls of Congress. Similar to so many other phrases some people use, it is intended to immediately put you on the defensive if you don’t agree with what they say next. It’s similar to, “we’re going to tell parents what their children can eat for lunch because … wait for it, … it’s what’s best for kids. The more appropriate phrase here should be, “disagree if you want but I’m going to make you look as bad as I can because I don’t really have a plausible argument.”

I can think of so many other words that we should stop using, but all I’m trying to do is begin a conversation about how much our language has become polluted because of our lack of operationally defining words, mostly because we don’t want to appear to be the bad guy even if we might be right. A much wiser person than I, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, once said, “Daring to do what is right, not what fancy may tell you, valiantly grasping occasions, not cravenly doubting — freedom comes only through deeds, not through thoughts taking wing. Faint not nor fear, but go out to the storm and the action … freedom, exultant, will welcome your spirit with joy.”


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