By Taylor Armerding
The Hendricks County Flyer
Mon Sep 24, 2012, 03:19 PM EDT
I am the language police officer, and I am here to help.
This does not mean I'm the thought police officer - you can think whatever you want. In fact, this is not about expressing whatever opinion you want. I'm not going to call for boycotts of any product because its executives express a view for or against affirmative action, Medicare, gay marriage, or pretty much anything else.
This is not even directly about attack ads, civility, or incivility. You will read and hear endlessly from self-appointed "truth squads" or "fact checkers" about whether an ad is accurate, in or out of context, unfair, or effective.
This is about clarity. This is a clarion call (which surely will be ignored on all sides) to speak clearly, instead of saying nothing while pretending you're saying something. This is a call to get rid of filler, distractions, repetition, and absurdity in what passes for political rhetoric.
If these phrases were banned until Nov. 6, it wouldn't make that rhetoric perfect, but it would help. Here are the highlights of my list. You probably have your own contributions. Send them to me, and I'll include them in a later post from the political wilderness:
- Let me be clear - There is no need for a politician to ask for permission to be clear. We, the people, are begging for them to be clear. In fact, when politicians say that, they are usually setting us up for more obfuscation - some gauzy, feel-good promise. What they really mean is, "Let me be vague."
- Not uncommon/Not unusual - Perhaps people think this makes them sound more erudite, but it does the opposite. It is a double negative in search of a positive. It just clogs everything up. I'll demonstrate: I'm sitting on my not unblack chair, wearing my not unkhaki pants and my not unwhite shirt, in front of my not unbrown desk writing on my not unsilver laptop.
March 3, 2014
February 27, 2014
February 26, 2014
There was a wide array of reactions to Seattle DB Richard Sherman’s post-game “interview” with Erin Andrews following the Seahawks’ NFC title win over San Francisco.
Mine? Laughter, as the shout-down was the most entertaining thing I saw all day.
January 28, 2014
Butler is still a long way from saving its 2013-14 men’s basketball season, but if the Bulldogs turn it around fully and reach the NCAA Tournament, it will have started this past Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
January 21, 2014
A fine season for the Indianapolis Colts ended with a whimper Saturday at New England, but in recent team history, it was far from the most disappointing postseason defeat.
January 14, 2014
The Indianapolis Colts’ miraculous 45-44 wild card victory over Kansas City on Saturday ended just after 8 p.m. After leaving Lucas Oil Stadium, it took until around midnight for the pounding in my head to subside.
January 7, 2014
December 31, 2013
An NPR broadcast examines the question of how communities can better prepare for tornadoes like the one that struck Moore, Okla. on Monday. The broadcast features commentary from Michael Fitzgerald, who reported a five-part disaster series for the CNHI News Service.
May 22, 2013
Part I: Are We Prepared? | Part II: Disaster Dollars Part III: Lessons Learned | Part IV: Warning Signs Part V: The Big One
Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!
April 18, 2014
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