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A Rational Advocate
"The most formidable weapon against errors of any kind is reason"

 MISUSING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

There is a great misuse of meanings of certain words and phrases by many in our society, with the greatest abusers being many media and political persona and social opportunists (self-serving individuals and groups).  It is especially disingenuous when this practice takes place in the categorization of people for the purpose of pitting one category against the other.

As an example, take the case of blithely stating that there are “haves” and “have nots” in our society.  Does one really know what is meant by these terms.  It is obvious that the view of a reader or listener can differ greatly in consideration of who is a “have” or “have not”.  In fact a reader or listener could consider one a “have not” who really consider themselves a “have”.  The interpretation of these terms by a viewer or reader can vary.  One could feel that there are broad categories wherein those having a certain income or wealth level are “haves” and those below a certain income or wealth level are “have nots”.  Then maybe there are some in between these income or wealth levels which one is not sure how to categorize.  There are some who enjoy high income and wealth who themselves, or others, may consider “have-nots” because of human frailties, or other reasons, that provide for despondency, domestic instability, alcoholism, social dysfunctionality etal.

Then again, a viewer or reader could interpret a “have” as one who is comfortable with his/hers circumstances regardless of income or wealth levels and vice versa for a “have not”.  Or could a “have” possibly be one who is a “have not” but sees the opportunity to be a “have” and become one, in his mind, because of that opportunity.

One should also consider the fact that when attempts are made to use such terms to characterized elements of society people having quite different characteristics are thrown in one category.  Those that are mentally or physically ill are mixed with those that do not have these specific impairments but may have other anomalies including abnormal aptitudes, educational levels, motivations, attitudes, perceptions and social behaviors.

Now lets take some other terms that are also used to foment divisiveness.  Upper Class, Middle Class and Lower Class; High Income, Middle Income and Low Income; Rich and Poor; Latinos, Blacks, Whites, Orientals, Europeans etc.  Many politicians, media persona and social opportunists enjoy their greatest rewards when they succeed in having the citizenry divide themselves into these respective categories and start to berate those that are not in what they believe to be their category.  Why do some people believe one of these terms puts them in a specific category?  A likely possibility is that they believe the politicians promise to provide special financial rewards to those in the category in which they believe they fit.  Many politicians love it because in the process they derive power and the ability to create personal gain.  Many media persona love it because anything that is divisive creates news upon which their business thrives.  Many social opportunists’ love it because divisiveness allows their personal agendas to be pursued which, depending upon their personal motivations, can result in the increase of personal power, notoriety, financial gain etal.

It is sad that generation after generation has not learned the lessons of history that illustrate this practice.  Until the self interest of each individual is understood and allowed to function in a system wherein the individual can become the best they can be without infringing upon the rights of others, societies will not serve the full potential of mankind.  This means limited government, both at the federal and local level to insure fair competition, only providing for those individuals who are physically unable to take care of themselves.  Further, political manipulation by those in positions of power in Government, and their self-serving interest at the expense of the citizenry, must be decried.

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