Issuepedia:Reclaiming words

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One of Issuepedia's goals is to reclaim a number of words which have been effectively re-defined by abusive opponents to be little better than epithets or code-words used to drive popular opinion by avoiding any real understanding of what is being discussed. Abusive word re-definition impoverishes the English language and, as George Orwell so eloquently showed in 1984, is itself a manipulative tool for controlling and restricting the way people discuss and resolve problems.


For now, this is just a list of words off the top of my head; some explanation of how those words have been distorted will be forthcoming ASAP. --Woozle 18:27, 30 March 2007 (EDT)


by category

  • Morality & Ethics:
    • moral, right, wrong, decent
    • honor
    • truth
    • offensive
    • character, integrity: "I mistrusted words like "character" and "integrity" because they had been so debased by adults. As they were used then, these words all seemed to mean the same thing: obedience. The kids who got praised for these qualities tended to be at best dull-witted prize bulls, and at worst facile schmoozers. If that was what character and integrity were, I wanted no part of them." – Paul Graham, Why Nerds Are Unpopular
    • family, traditional family, family values, traditional family values, war on the family
    • judgment, judgmental
    • tact: "The word I most misunderstood was "tact." As used by adults, it seemed to mean keeping your mouth shut. I assumed it was derived from the same root as "tacit" and "taciturn," and that it literally meant being quiet. I vowed that I would never be tactful; they were never going to shut me up. In fact, it's derived from the same root as "tactile," and what it means is to have a deft touch. Tactful is the opposite of clumsy. I don't think I learned this until college." – ibid.
  • Politics:
  • Euphemisms:
  • Isms:
  • Nationalism:
    • patriot(ism)
    • security (as in "homeland security", an excuse to do whatever We want; also as in "taking extreme measures in order to look like we're doing something about the problem without actually having any kind of sensible policy for reducing actual danger", e.g. the extremely inconvenient post-9/11 rules at airports which are about as effective as building half a dam... after the river has been diverted, even.)
    • duty
    • country (as in "duty, honor, country")
    • American, un-American