Just Call a Liar a Liar
Why have we stopped calling liars what they are?: liars. Why have we, especially the media, come to accept and use weasel-words such as “misinformation,” “disinformation,” and “alternate reality?” It’s like calling a felony a “misdeed.” My English teachers — at Palm Beach Elementary, Palm Beach High (now called Twin Lakes High, dang-it), and Oglethorpe University — are probably hopping mad in Heaven.
Misinformation, disinformation, and alternate reality are coined words/phrases, made up to fit particular situations, often to hide or evade the meaning of the words they avoid. Such as using “disinformation” instead of “lie,” to take the sting out of “lie,” to soften it, to bury its impact. Lucille Q. Agnew at Oglethorpe U. in my college years would call it a euphemism, then she might elevate her ire and say, “If something stinks, it stinks.” And good for her.
The Jan. 28, 2021,Washington Post has an article by Karen Tumulty that takes this concern about lying into the politics of the moment, particularly the kurfuffle (from the Irish for disorder, confusion) surrounding new GOP Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who claims the right to carry firearms into the House Chamber while also claiming that certain Democrats should be done away with. (Which, itself, is a euphemism for killed, murdered.) Here’s a link to the story: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/01/28/gop-struck-bad-bargain-thats-how-it-got-stuck-with-marjorie-taylor-greene/?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most&carta-url=https%3A%2F%2Fs2.washingtonpost.com%2Fcar-ln-tr%2F2eff704%2F60143dcb9d2fda4c88cab3ba%2F5d7989d19bbc0f783c82671e%2F15%2F70%2F60143dcb9d2fda4c88cab3ba
We live in oddly and dangerously interesting times in which standards of communication and behavior have crumbled. Whose fault is this? We can’t blame everything on ex-President Trump, his enablers, and supporters.