War of the Words: Losing Meaning and Impact
You know what I'm saying. Words like "extremist" or "Nazi" -- are bandied about by biased press, partisan politicians and everyday people like you and me -- used, or more likely misused, in a feeble attempt to make a point. And it needs to stop.
Take the wire services. They use of the word "extremist" when discussing Jews who don't want to be expelled from their homes and they use it to describe vicious terrorists who kill civilians. Does that really make sense? Are the two even slightly similar?
Friend to the Blogway, Tom Carter, did a terrific post about why using the word Nazi is ridiculous, whether it's you or Senator Dick Durbin spitting it out. His conclusion says it all:
Think about the American politician or public figure you find most distasteful. Assuming you know anything at all about World War II and the Nazis, there is no way you can intelligently characterize him or her as a Nazi or make a comparison to Hitler. Think about it. If you're guilty of doing it, you're making yourself look like an idiot. Cut it out.
He's right -- to make outlandish and inaccurate comparisons, to misuse words with intense rhetoric and hyperbole, doesn't bolster your argument. It deflates it.
I wish the media and people in general would do as Tom suggests -- and cut it out.