Getting the language right
Originally published September 4th, 2007.
It is amazing that language is as effecting – or not effective – as battlefield tactics. And so much can hinge on the actions of a few.
I’m told after Gettysburg, to his dying day, Longstreet refused to speak to Lee.
And had Meade pursued the retreating Lee, the War might have been over in 1863.
And, as Lex mentioned, nothing much has changed. Had Bush been clearer in his orders to Bremer, perhaps the level of sectarian violence would have been minimized.
But then as a Sgt told me years ago, “If a bullfrog had wings, he’d fly
As I went to the link for the post by Lex and all of the comments written at the time, we must remember the time frame in which they were written. There is an old saying, “The devil is in the details.” This old saying is never more true than at a time of war. This next question is not just about semantics, but about the truth. “Which is more accurate, 24 hours for one day? Doesn’t 24 hours equal one day?” Actually, 24 hours is more accurate than one day. Why do leaders speak in vague terms? To be honest, they want to leave themselves some “wiggle room”. In foresight, our degree of accuracy is 0% and in hindsight our degree of accuracy is not always 100%. Therefore, the politicians always want to leave themselves some “wiggle room”. The difference between normal people and politicians is simple. Normal people take as few words as possible, to say as much as possible. On the other hand, politicians take as many words as possible to actually say as little as possible. Just a thought.
Good post Grumpy.
I am reminded of Charles Durning’s (playing the Governor of Texas) – rendition of Sidestep in the movie The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas
This being a Presidential Election year, it seems quite appropriate to me, that Bill Brandt would put this particular Charles Durning link. Everybody seems to think we have a two-party political system. Well, they’re right, on one side, we have the elites and the other side, we have non-elites. I am not talking about Republican or Democratic Parties. Just take a look at the history, going back to at least the 1950s. While you’re at it, why don’t you compare and contrast our former Presidents? Comparison is finding those things which are in the same or similar and contrast is finding those things which are opposite were radically different. If you do an honest evaluation, you will find a long list of comparisons. On the other hand, if you’re honest, you will find an extremely short list of contrasts. Enjoy your walk through history.
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