Re: Spouse discussion

Thomas W. Rimkus (trimkus@COMP.UARK.EDU)
Wed, 20 Dec 1995 23:37:03 -0600

On Wed, 20 Dec 1995, Douglass Drozdow-St.Christian wrote:

> now this i interesting indeed, thomas. conscious political golas being
> thrust etc....what is striking is the codicil to your comment, which
> suggests that somehow the language being thrust upon is, in its pristine
> state of normal change, apolitical....while accepting the proposition
> that attempts to change usage are politically motivated [ with the aim, i
> would suggest not on thursting change on some magical majority, but
> rather of effecting some sort of consciousness raising] is it not either
> disingenuous or at least misleading to suggest that 'normal usage, normal
> change etc' are not also, perhaps 'unconsciously' political as well...
> and this is not name calling,..i am genuinely curious how one form of
> change is political thursting while the othe[Ar is apolitical normalcy??
> nothing, i think, is ever apolitical, however common or conventional

On the surface of this subject you are correct. Of course everything has
a political aspect, but dont you see the difference between conscious
manipulation of the language to effect some hidden agenda and changes in
language due to preceeding changes in culture?

EG: the military's terminology for civilian casualties
as it has been changed over the last few wars to mask the reality that
our military is engaged in the very unpopular behavior of killing
innocents as compared to the meaning of "communication" as it has
changed as a result of the medium we are now using.

EG2: The active strategy by academics and feminists to change the
meaning of "gender" to (hopefully) effect a change of conciousness in the
masses to fit some "higher" conciousness (read: political position whose
goal is to shift power from one set of despots to another) as
compared to the shift in the meaning of "work" as our society moves
from production to service.

Sure, all have some relationship to power and politics, but...

There is a difference and the difference has something to do with motive
and timing. The disigenuousness seems to me to be in the position that
all change is politically motivated and therefore "it's all OK!" Without
differentiation due to a touch of scepticism and some personal value set, we
are all going to march right along to the drum no matter who is beating it.

Tom Rimkus

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