Content note: contains grumpy swithering and language.

Saw this recently:

'Who was it...?' 'He didn't say.'

Hmmm…

I DON’T SAY
“I DON’T SAY
[X BECAUSE Y]…”
BECAUSE IT MIGHT CONFUSE MY VALUE JUDGMENTS WITH STATEMENTS OF FACT.
BECAUSE CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING.
BECAUSE WORDS DO WHAT WE TELL THEM.
BECAUSE CAPS LOCK IS SHOUTING.
BECAUSE I JUST DON’T SAY WHATEVER IT IS I DON’T WANT TO BE SAID.

Well! It got my goat. “I was forced into parody, m’lud.”

I mean, though. Saying you don’t say something and then saying the thing… just to stick its little word head on a spike pour encourager les autres. Bah!

Stepping back a little, taking a breath, I see their point, sort of.

Fiona McCrossin, one of the student participants, told BuzzFeed in an email: “I am doing this project because language is a reflection of our culture as a whole and it contributes to a person’s understanding of what is ‘normal’ or ‘good.’ We hope to start conversations about the cultural practices that these words reflect and start to change the hostile environment that they create. I personally chose not to use these words because I want to contribute to that change as much as possible. I encourage people to do the same, but I understand if they do not wish to.”

I agree. We would all benefit from less hostility and more positivity. However, while acknowledging Fiona McCrossin’s qualifying statement on Buzzfeed, the back-pedalling implied in the final lines – “Yeah, but it’s just my choice, no biggie if you don’t want to…” – sits at odds with the hectoring certainty of the campaign proper.

AND, and, conversations are not begun by stating emphatically an opinion as fact and then standing there with your arms folded. Not effective conversations, anyway.

I dunno, it all just came across as being a bit… pompous. “Think before you talk” is an admirable tenet, but I would prefer it if people did not assume that their semantic certainties are anything of the kind.

And are our cultural practices not threatened by greater problems than a few words? Linguistic versus actual minefields…

‘Shocking paintwork,’ muttered Lord Wimpleby, gesturing at the ship’s hull as the lifeboat descended.

They’re right, though, really. It’s all part of a parcel. For want of a nail… One can admire the stance, I suppose. Well done to them. Go for it! We need enthusiasts.

“Fookin students.”paulcalf

I understand if you do not wish to see it in the same way.

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