In my two-and-a-half years’ worth of blogging, I have found myself forced to consider the writings, sayings, and policy papers of those whose politics are opposite, and antithetical, to my own. I delved into the pronouncements of the left and, in so doing, discovered that it has its own rhetorical world. But not only that: I discovered that, in large part, the left’s rhetorical world is everyone’s. Its pseudologisms and weasel words—its perniciously equivocal vocabulary and taxonomy—infect public life and the body politic. In the rhetorical world given us by the left, a thing is not a thing: every term has a second meaning, a connotation, an interpretation. Words bear more loads for the left than structural steel.
Not to say this practice isn’t also prevalent on the right, or indeed anywhere else. In-groups always have their own meta-language. But the left have made their meta-language the language everyone has to speak.
I’d like to free these words from their role as beasts of burden.
And so I present to you a new series of posts which I will call the Progressive Dictionary. Words, and the load the left makes them carry. I’ve got a big long list to be starting with, but feel free to suggest your own.
And for your delectation, I’m going to begin with my two favourites.
The Free Dictionary: n. The using up of goods and services by consumer purchasing or in the production of other goods.
The Progressive Dictionary: n. The unnecessary and environmentally damaging using up of the earth’s scarce resources in the morally repugnant pursuit of conspicuous social status conferred by inequality.
The Free Dictionary: n. Lack of the means of providing material needs or comforts.
The Progressive Dictionary n. The unjust inability to engage in consumption (see above).