Control the Words, Control the World
From The Trenches:
There's no mistake that one of the greatest tools the left possesses is it's ability to control the words in all realms of today's modern life. From the media, to the government to pop culture, our world is defined by those in control of the words.
An interesting example of the power of words and the power of those who control them, came up recently, in a Seattle Times article titled "State moves toward gender-neutral language". Here in Washington State, a project has been underway since 2006 to clear all Washington state laws, official histories, documents etc of "gender-specific" language. From that article:
State officials have been changing the language used in many laws, including thousands of words and phrases, many written more than a century ago when the idea of women working on police forces or on fishing boats wasn't a consideration.
That process is to draw to a close this year. So while the state already has welcomed "firefighters," "clergy" and "police officers" into its lexicon, "ombuds" (in place of ombudsman) and "security guards" (previously "watchmen,") appear to be next, along with "dairy farmers," "first-year students" and "handwriting."
"Some people would say 'oh, it's not a big thing, do you really have to go through the process of changing the language,'" said Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark, who was one of the catalysts for the change. "But language matters. It's how we signal a level of respect for each other."
About half of all U.S. states have moved toward such gender-neutral language at varying levels, from drafting bills to changing state constitutions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Florida and Minnesota already have completely revised their laws as Washington state is doing.
The final installment of Washington state's bill already has sailed through the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee with unanimous approval. The nearly 500-page bill has one more committee stop scheduled before full Senate debate.
Crispin Thurlow, a sociolinguist and associate professor of language and communication at the University of Washington, Bothell, said the project was admirable.
He said as language evolves, such efforts are more than symbolic.
"Changing words can change what we think about the world around us," he said. "These tiny moments accrue and become big movements."
Clark and former Seattle City Councilmember Jan Drago - the Seattle council has long eschewed the terms "councilwoman" or "councilman" - brought the issue to Sen. Jeannie Kohl-Welles in 2006 after they came across references to firemen and policemen in the mayor's proposed budget, as well as in state law dealing with local-government pensions.
Clark and Drago's findings sparked the initial gender-neutral language law that was passed in 2007, immediately changing those terms and directing the state code reviser's office to do a full revision of the rest of the code. A 1983 Washington state law already had required all new statutes to be written in gender-neutral terms, so state officials were tasked with going through the rest of state statutes dating back to 1854 to revise the rest.
How revising history with a politically correct movement of today means we increase our respect for each other is beyond me, but, oh well. It should also be noted that Clark is as far left as one can get on the political spectrum.