It’s All In The Words Used - 2 Mar 2008
It’s All In The Words Used
As we close in on an election year of 2008 we find
ourselves choosing a new president, along with the decision of many
other legislative and magistrate offices, we must take a look at the
methods of marketing we are now propagandized with. We have the ever
popular Obamarama movement which seems to be making a concerted effort
at fooling all of the people all of the time. He has taken on words
that that portray an image that he is capable of turning all bad to
good with the flip of a switch. People follow the words and less the
man speaking them. This is nothing new. Many political movements
throughout history, with some level of success, have done this before.
But it is now being done with the tools of clever marketing phrases
that have worked their ways into our culture by way of psychological
word promotions drummed up by marketing and sales experts. They are
experts because they know what they are doing and it is effective.
What has happened to our language that has brought
about a whole new way of describing what was once simple to understand
into the mind bending approach of descriptive phrasing meant to guide
the listener into a hypnotized state of convincing vulnerability. How
did a used car salesman become a dealer of certified pre-owned
vehicles? A used car salesman has become synonymous with a con man or
crook. A dealer of certified pre-owned vehicles sounds more respectful
even though the product is the same.
Political correctness was the beginning of a word game
gone out of control along with what now have become every day events
much to the same. When I was growing up the most threatening individual
at a public school was the local bully not some crazed suicidal maniac
with a machine gun. The mailman was just a friendly guy not a
disgruntled postal worker with a gun. Though there was wishful talk of
it on the practice field no one ever got into bed with the great
looking blonde teacher. How did this happen? Has our whole culture gone
mad. As our language has been twisted to soothe us into a society of
sheep the entertainment and media circus takes us into an inhumane
annulment of self being.
When I was a kid I was scared of the Wolfman movies.
Now we have brought up a whole generation on truly horrific films like
Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween and video games where the object
is to kill someone. What used to be relegated to sleazy supermarket
tabloids have become mainstream front page and subjects of TV news.
There are things on TV that used to be censored from films seen in
theaters. There is a lot of talk about the effect this has on children
but it’s not just there. Our entire society has felt it’s dehumanizing
effects. This trend will continue. The demon is out of the box, you
can’t put him back in. Are we living in Hell and so used to the heat
that we are now roasting marshmallows?
While the word game tries to go soft, but actually
deceptive and confusing, the world goes nuts. We now have teenagers
becoming human bombs who wander into crowds with the promise of a
Valhalla of eternal sex with virgins. In the 19th century Jack the
Ripper was the worst series of murders the world had seen in a civic
environment. Now days seemingly “normal quiet” individuals take on
serial rape and murder as a hobby covered in the news as daily events.
Freeways have become more dangerous than just being in an accident. For
what at one time just produced a one finger hand gesture now brings out
weapons by those with intent to kill anyone who offends them or causes
them delay. People, children and adults, disappear into thin air never
to be seen again and we rarely find out what happened to them.
While the words we now use dull our minds and try to
give us a feeling that everything is OK the conversation around the
water cooler is the crazed events from the prior evening news. The
reactions are, “wow can you believe that, oh well”.
We were once known to be a “free country” but that
sounded, well too much like free, like it was not under some level of
control. Now we like to say we are a “democratic society”, like it was
arrived at by committee involving all interests. We must now let
everyone feel as though they have a part in the whole process. What
about the word free in itself. What was once dubbed as free doughnuts
is now a complimentary continental breakfast. A simple description
turned into a lengthy confusion. What is ‘continental” anyway? I always
thought it had something to do with a large land mass not breakfast. Or
was it what Washington fed his army in the morning.
How did a robber who was once known to have gun now
become an individual who brandished a firearm? Brandished? It makes it
sound as though it was some kind of ceremony or magic trick appearing
from under a handkerchief. Again, what was once simple sends us to the
dictionary. And why is this word only used for guns? Why can’t someone
brandish a fork or a yoyo?
What we used to take to the dump we now dispose of in a
sanitary landfill. What is so “sanitary” about rotting garbage? But you
still may hear dump used to describe what the more sophisticated may
call sub-standard housing.
Cough drops are now throat lozenges. Maybe because
cough drops were 25 cents and throat lozenges cost a dollar. The
fancier the name, the higher the price.
Jesus healed the crippled but today he would treat the
physically challenged. Dumb and just plain stupid is now mentally
challenged. Some of these people are living seemingly normal lives as
seen on Jaywalking on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show. What would it sound like
if the movie Dumb & Dumber was called Mentally Challenged and
Mentally Challenged to a Greater Degree. I guess just dumb.
I won’t go into politically correct racial
descriptions. If we could just dispose of them all together and just
called people, well people, we might start to eliminate this social
What was forbidden is now zero tolerance. This makes it
sound like a Nazi totalitarian term. You can’t tell someone “we’re not
going to put up with this s***” and remain politically correct. Even
the word zero has been more recently popularized. Rarely in my youth
was it ever used except in a math class. We always said, and I still
do, O. I get thrown off when someone is giving me a phone number and
they say zero. All other numbers (or what some call numerals) are one
syllable while zero is two. It breaks up the continuity of the numbers
How is it that soft drink bottlers and water filter
manufacturers were able to convince the whole country that the water
from our taps is unfit to drink? This was pure marketing genius. Sell
everyone water. Now only those in the poverty levels or the just
totally unsophisticated drink tap water. Oh my God those poor people.
Even though water systems can become contaminated it is rare. Public
water systems are highly regulated and constantly monitored.
There are some advantages to tap water. It is cheap and
contains fluoride. Not so with bottled water. It costs as much or more
than soft drinks. Why is this? One of the reasons is the bottlers have
seen a decrease in soft drink sales over the years from bad press on
it’s health disadvantages. So they start their own campaign to impugn
tap water. Now profits are even greater because water is much cheaper
to produce than soft drinks. Water being the main ingredient in soft
drinks they have to add flavoring, sweeteners, color, carbonization,
and preservatives which is additional cost and logistics. They have
found a new way to bring up the profits for soft drinks by infusing
them with caffeine and other ingredients, calling them “energy drinks”,
and charging up to five times as much.
Water costs as much or even more at the store than soft
drinks. Why is this? Because people will pay for it. Human beings need
water to survive. No one is going to question it’s cost compared to
soft drinks because no one will drink only soft drinks to get their
water requirements. The market can hold the cost as high as what people
Sometimes the only difference between tap and bottled
water is the bottle. Several water bottlers have been selling water
right from the tap. People buy it because they have become so focused
on the bottle that they rarely think of what is in it. At least this
water will contain fluoride. Over the years since bottled water has
come into fashion tooth decay has been on the rise. Get the dentists in
on the profits of the water gravy train. And what happens to all the
bottles? Though some municipalities require recycling most of them end
up in all those sanitary landfills and take many years to biodegrade.
With all the bad press on the air we breathe it won’t
be long before we all have tanks on our backs or go about in
A rose by any other name can bring a higher price with a clever marketing ploy.