When language comes from certain groups – notably politicians, clergy, or marketers – we should be aware of how often it does not refer to anything in the real world and be sensitive to attempts to tell us what’s true or otherwise manipulate us.
The truth is what most people believe. And they believe that which is repeated most often
Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
Our society is divided by many conflicting forces, but two of them are in our face almost all the time, roiling America like the whirling blades of the old MixMaster – and causing just as much confusion.
Both are related to the field in which I was trained – linguistics. Both center on language – not surprising, since language is a multi-purpose tool without which we would not be human.
I think of them as two mega-issues, each with a constellation of sub- and intersecting issues.