A report published in an online publication for journalists on Thursday described how reporters and others in mass communications choose new categories of victims, craft politically correct language to replace traditional wording, and ensure the complete and total replacement of the old concept with the new, PC version.
How do they do it? They just do it.
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, the parent organization of PolitiFact, reports that the easiest way to create a revolution in language is through the top-down change of terms used by journalists in news stories.
“We don’t have to talk about it. We’re just going to do it and make it normal,” said an editor quoted in the story.
Poynter reported that the “simple solution” to assure intellectual and linguistic compliance is to “create and enforce style guides.” The story highlights Kaitlyn Jakola, managing editor of a nonprofit online media outlet, who credited her ability to impose her word preference on the nation to the average reporter’s conformity and lack of curiosity.
“Ultimately, [from] my experience as a copy editor, people just want to be told what to do. And 99.9% of journalists are not going to argue with you about whether they can use (a) word, unless they’re persnickety or curmudgeons,” Jakola concluded. “We don’t have to talk about it. We’re just going to do it and make it normal.”
“I’ve tackled it through newsroom policy. And every newsroom I’ve been in, I’ve said, ‘Hey, we need to have a policy on the language we’re going to use,’” Jakola told Poynter.org. And that’s all that has been necessary.
Meanwhile, academics seek to indoctrinate the undergraduates to create the next generation of language censors. Patti Wolter, a journalism professor at Northwestern University, said, “As a professor, I want my students to be the ones who develop style guides [about] this in their workplaces,” or at least be “the voices in their workplaces that promote that kind of thinking and writing.”
“My job is to train the next generation to be thinking that way,” said Wolter.
Her comments came in a story about changing the use of words related to mental illness, like “crazy” and “bonkers.” Brandeis University, which has been well ahead of the curve, released its “oppressive language list” to further this trend. For instance, the university recommends that all gender-specific nouns or adjectives (e.g., “female-identifying”) should be replaced with “assigned female/male at birth” and “ladies and gentlemen” with “folx.” The term “trigger warning” left people triggered, while phrases like “killing it” and “take a shot” are deemed too violent — criteria broad enough to indict everyone from Lin Manuel Miranda and Linda Sarsour to the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
The same top-down process holds for which phrases a network will emphasize, such as “white rage.” CNN and MSNBC have used the phrase 82 times since January 1, 66 of them this month, according to Grabien Media.
Witness the birth of this new expression, “white rage”
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 25, 2021
The greatest wordsmiths said that the politicization of language leads to a flattening and impoverishing of the written word.
“In our time it is broadly true that political writing is bad writing,” George Orwell warned in his famous essay on “Politics and the English Language,” because “political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible.” Where this is not true, “it will generally be found that the writer is some kind of rebel, expressing his private opinions, and not a ‘party line’. Orthodoxy, of whatever colour, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style.”
Thanks to rounds of misleading redefinition, the English language “becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.”
“If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration,” wrote Orwell.
Readers must also demand more of journalists and reward writers who use accurate, precise, and clear English. Until this again becomes the norm, the reader must consume with great discretion.
“When it comes to politics, we might be better off being more skeptical and digging deeper to understand the truth for ourselves. That’s because what is said is often the opposite of reality,” wrote Jackie Gingrich Cushman in The American Spectator. “My point is that, when discussing media and politics, be wary of words; they are often used to protest and portray the opposite of what you might be expecting. Consider this a word to the wise.”
The best advice on reading the English language could be summarized in the Latin phrase, Caveat lector.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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