Tag Archives: liberal

Loaded Words

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Loaded language is a way to belittle people, to sneer at others, to deprecate them. Here are a few examples:

1. Loophole—this implies sneaky behavior. It may be something we all are deserving of (a legal tax deduction, for example), but calling it a loophole lends it an unethical veneer.

2. Claim—if you write that someone “claims” something, you are casting some doubt on what was said or written. Don’t be afraid to use “say” or “said,” “writes” or “wrote.”

3. So-called—here the eyebrows are being raised to the hairline. You are automatically diminishing whatever “so-called” is modifying. “The so-called Equal Rights Amendment”? You are saying that if it passes (and will it ever?), it really won’t be about equal rights for women.

4. Elitist—why don’t you just come out and say someone is a snob?

5. Liberal—for many years now, political campaigns have tried to paint this word in a negative light, tying liberals to abortion, drugs, big spending, wasteful government , integration, adequate health care and government entitlements. As as result, many liberals now call themselves progressives, even though they still know they are liberal at heart.

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Filed under All things having to do with the English language