Monday, August 22, 2005

Moratorium on Misapplied Words or Why Every Journalist I Know Will Receive a Dictionary for Christmas This Year

Okay, folks, that's it. It's time to have a little sitdown about word choice. Because words have meanings, both connotative and denotative, when you use a particular word you create an expectation and responsibility for what you have said. Take for example the linked article above.

The word "Debate" means to weigh out, through logic, argumentation and evidence, the pros and cons of one position over another. For this article to be a debate, one side would have to say "Yes, indian fry bread is healthy" while the other side would say "No, indian fry bread is not healty." This is not what the article does. What it presents is a conflict. The Native American community is conflicted over this staple because while tasty and deeply associated with their community it is about as healthful as running over to the Long John Silver's, buying an entire canister of the hushpuppy solution and sucking on it with a straw.

So, folks, and I know I am guilty as the next guy, let's choose our words a bit more carefully, please, huh?

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