Friday, December 28, 2012

a plea for concise wording

Huge pet peeve. Meaningless words.

Nothing boils my blood more than the misuse of words. If you misuse words, not only do you fail to make whatever point it was you were attempting to illustrate in the first place but you run the risk of unintentionally propagating two other dangerously insidious follies.

First, you will possibly confuse those of limited mind whom may hear your message but fail to comprehend its intended meaning as you have poorly chosen your vocabulary and thus the inherent ambiguity of some of those words lead to a detrimental interpretation.

Second, you are reinforcing the ambiguity of certain words via sloppy use or the lack of pertinent qualifiers such as adverbs that might otherwise erase any room for misinterpretation.

But what, you may ask, are examples of these ambiguous terms....?

Good, bad, & a lot are the classic examples any English teacher will hopefully point out as they are totally dependent on two things; according to which/ whose point of view? and in comparison to what? A kid in early grade school may say that having his lunch stolen from him once a month by the class bully is both "bad" and it seems to happen to him "a lot" in comparison to how many times that bully's lunch is from him. Now, if you are the prison bitch and your lunch is stolen only once a month instead of every day, and there is no associated shanking or unwelcome penetration, then that's fairly "good." So, good, bad, and a lot are fairly useless words without better ones to support them... and if a word needs that much help to provide a clear meaning, then its fairly useless altogether.

Two others I find abhorrent are "crazy" and "drugs." What in the world do either of these mean anymore? They serve a purpose due to their ambiguity by which you can use a person's preconceived notions against them to make them the fool... but what is crazy? according to who? When it is said, "That was fucking crazy! Did you see that?" vs. "Oh, that guy who shot up all those innocents was really crazy, he should be medicated." Is that not two different crazies? What about the "drug addict" vs. "the drug store?" are they not both drugs?
Crazy is relative to the accuser as drugs are to the taker.

So when you say something, choose your words carefully, otherwise you run some serious risks, and may raise some rather awkward questions... 

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