32. Honest or Dishonest Language, Part 1

I had an experience over the Memorial Day weekend that made me think about euphemisms and how un-organic they are. Following the energy seems to be a constant for me this year. This may be why my attention is drawn to something lacking an organic nature, as that would not be following the energy presenting itself. As a writer, I dislike euphemisms and what they are attempting to hide. I may on occasion use them in a personal conversation--but I wouldn't do it in a public format. A writer needs to be specific, clear and direct. Certain words need to be said for the message being communicated to be understood, unless you are deliberately trying to not be understood.

What happened was I heard three or four disc jockeys used the same odd, disingenuous phrase. They all said to take a bit of time over the weekend to remember those who had "paid the ultimate price." It was odd because they all said it carefully and they seemed to want to be genuine about it, but they weren't capable of being genuine without using more accurate words. A more accurate choice of words would've been: remember "those who died" or "those who gave their lives" to give us and to protect our freedom. Why this strikes me as odd and un-organic is because one of the freedoms they gave and protect for us is the freedom of speech and these disc jockeys weren't using this freedom.

When I mentioned the strange sense I had from their use of euphemisms to a friend, he reminded me after 9/11 the government began to regulate, specify and sanctify certain phrases, as if none others existed in our language. When talking about certain things, only certain terms were allowed to be used. As our discussion continued, I had an eerie sense that the disc jockeys (whose stations get their license from the government) might be afraid of being fined or even losing their jobs if they didn't say "paid the ultimate price." The saddest part of this is by not respecting our freedom of speech our government and these radio stations--and anyone else who speaks this way--is disrespecting the very people whose lives were sacrificed to preserve our government and our freedom.

originally posted June 2014
reposted March 2018

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