I won’t tell you in this post (though I may have in earlier posts) what my political affiliation is. I will tell you that I am generally very cynical about most politics and politicians. As far as I can tell, the sure way to know when a politician is lying is that his lips are moving. (Lame old joke, I know.)
I heard a masterful use of what I think of as “double-talk” an hour ago when I listened to Mitt Romney explain why he was dropping out of the GOP presidential race. You’ve probably heard about it already, maybe even saw his televised speech.
As far as I can tell — and I read an Associated Press account of the speech, which quoted him — Romney says he is dropping out for the good of the country in time of war. I guess that means he started the race originally because he thought he was the best person to lead the country in this time of war — but now somehow his best leadership move in war time is to drop out of that same race??
I apologize if I’m “politicizing” this blog and drifting away from writing tips and writing-related subjects. But it seems to me that political writing and political speeches are a whole category of language use and writing which we MUST look at from time to time.
Mitt Romney certainly isn’t the first politician to engage in double-talk, nor will he be the last. What we must learn, however, is that politicians and other public figures specialize in double-talk. They thrive on it. They hire many, many people to perfect it for them.
Don’t be like a politician in your writing and your other uses of the language. Of course, if you’re writing fiction and have characters that demand it, by all means do so. But if you’re writing “non-fiction” or anything that demands clarity, think carefully about your use of language. Words mean something. Treat them carefully and with respect.
[tags]political language, double-talk, political writing, language meaning and usage, writing tips at garyspeer.com[/tags]