The events of the last few weeks have me convinced that the world has skipped the chance to “go to hell in a hand basket” and moved on to something much larger. I am even sure that “going to blazes in a barrel” would not give us a container large enough to handle all the evil in some people. Perhaps the phrase should be revised to read “going to Satan in a silo” or even “Going to Beelzebub in a barn.”
I have written in earlier blogs about the differences in today’s world versus the one I grew up in, and not a day goes by where some newspaper or TV news show refers to the ill effects modern technology is having on human relationships. While that may be true, I think the use of euphemisms, sometimes called “politically correct speech” is one of the ways we distance ourselves from really seeing and caring about the people around us. It allows us to see others as less than a flesh and blood person whom we should care about. And, losing the ability to care for and support others is what I believe is allowing so much evil to creep into our world.
One day I was working as a slightly more than minimum wage employee of K-mart and the next day, after punching my time card, I learned I had been given the title of “Associate” without any wage increase. Since that day I have been an associate of several other large corporations including Wal-Mart. Regardless of the title, I was still nothing more than a minimum wage employee. Let’s go back to the good old basics of life and call a spade a spade.
If you work for wages and have no say about how your job is done but must respond, without question or comment, to the directions of others, then you are an employee not an associate.
By the same token, I am not an economically marginalized, gerontologically advanced, uniquely coordinated, vertically challenged, melanin-impoverished, mattress appreciator who is nasally repetitive. I am, however, a poor, old, clumsy, short, white woman who hogs the bed and snores.
While I find fault with a lot of what George Carlin has to say I do agree with most of what he says about Euphemism’s. The following text is quoted from one of his CD’s. with the language cleaned up a tad.
I don't like words that hide the truth. I don't like words that conceal reality. I don't like euphemisms, or euphemistic language. And American English is loaded with euphemisms. Cause Americans have a lot of trouble dealing with reality. Americans have trouble facing the truth, so they invent the kind of a soft language to protect themselves from it, and it gets worse with every generation. I'll give you an example. There's a condition in combat. Most people know about it. It's when a fighting person's nervous system has been stressed to its absolute peak. Can't take anymore input. The nervous system has either snapped or is about to snap. In the First World War, that condition was called shell shock. Simple, honest, direct language. Two syllables, shell shock. Almost sounds like the guns themselves. That was seventy years ago. Then a whole generation went by and the second world war came along and very same combat condition was called battle fatigue. Four syllables now. Takes a little longer to say. Doesn't seem to hurt as much. Fatigue is a nicer word than shock. Shell shock! battle fatigue. Then we had the war in Korea, 1950. Madison Avenue was riding high by that time, and the very same combat condition was called operational exhaustion. Hey, we’re up to eight syllables now! And the humanity has been squeezed completely out of the phrase. It's totally sterile now. Operational exhaustion. Sounds like something that might happen to your car. Then of course, came the war in Viet Nam, and thanks to the lies and deceits surrounding that war, I guess it's no surprise that the very same condition was called post-traumatic stress disorder. Still eight syllables, but we've added a hyphen! And the pain is completely buried under jargon. Post-traumatic stress disorder. I'll bet you if we'd of still been calling it shell shock, some of those Viet Nam veterans might have gotten the attention they needed at the time. I'll betcha. I'll betcha.
……...soft language. That language that takes the life out of life. And it is a function of time. It does keep getting worse. I'll give you another example. Sometime during my life, toilet paper became bathroom tissue. I wasn't notified of this. No one asked me if I agreed with it. It just happened. Toilet paper became bathroom tissue. Sneakers became running shoes. False teeth became dental appliances. Medicine became medication. Information became directory assistance. The dump became the landfill. Car crashes became automobile accidents. Partly cloudy became partly sunny. Motels became motor lodges. House trailers became mobile homes. Used cars became previously owned transportation. Room service became guest-room dining. And constipation became occasional irregularity. When I was a little kid, if I got sick they wanted me to go to the hospital and see a doctor. Now they want me to go to a health maintenance organization...or a wellness center to consult a healthcare delivery professional. Poor people used to live in slums. Now the economically disadvantaged occupy substandard housing. And they're broke! They're broke! They don't have a negative cash-flow position. They're broke! Cause a lot of them were fired. You know, fired. management wanted to curtail redundancies in the human resources area, so many people are no longer viable members of the workforce.
……………people have invented a language to conceal their sins. It's as simple as that. The CIA doesn't kill anybody anymore, they neutralize people...or they depopulate the area. The government doesn't lie, it engages in disinformation. The pentagon actually measures nuclear radiation in something they call sunshine units. Israeli murderers are called commandos. Arab commandos are called terrorists. Contra killers are called freedom fighters. Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part of it to us, do they? Never mention that part of it.
The language I learned in school seems to have gone the way of the dinosaurs. So I have to end by once again quoting George Carlin: “I'm telling you, some of this language makes me want to vomit. Well, maybe not vomit. Makes me want to engage in an involuntary personal protein spill.”
As for me, I am just going to say what I mean and mean what I say and treat others with fairness and genuine concern and stay with the policy of spreading brotherly love to all I meet. Why don’t you join me?