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    First they came for the language

    First they came for the language

    Language is destiny, and we have lost the language

    First came the smear that the perfectly descriptive and race neutral terms “illegal alien” or “illegal immigrant” were racist, as part of an open-borders effort to redefine the meaning of our immigration laws and those who break them as merely a paperwork problem.

    Then came the capitulation by the Associated Press.

    Now comes the capitulation by USA Today (h/t Byron York):

    The term illegal immigration is acceptable, but do not label people as illegal immigrants, except in direct quotes. Undocumented immigrant, undocumented worker and unauthorized immigrant are acceptable terms — depending on accuracy, clarity and context — for foreign nationals who are in the country illegally. An alternative is to use a phrase such as “people who entered the U.S. illegally” or “living in the country without legal permission.”

    Avoid using the word alien to refer to immigrants, except in quoted matter or official government designations. Do not use illegal or illegals as a noun. It is considered pejorative by most immigrants. Migrant can be used instead of immigrant in a tight space.

    It’s not just a “culture” war, it’s a language war. And we have lost the language.

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    Comments


    Semantic games is not innovative. It is selective. We have not lost the language, but its free use. We are semantic slaves.

    Sometimes abortion is indiscriminately labeled as babykilling. There are politicians who tell me that family values do not stop at the Rio Grande (while their agribusiness backers profit from Americans yielding jobs to illegal aliens).

    What’s the gripe that Real Conservatives™ have about Orwellian manipulation of the language: that it’s unethical, or that their adversaries are better at it?


       
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      Ragspierre in reply to gs. | April 11, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      Really…???

      You can’t distinguish between a polemical use of language (i.e., “babykilling” which it arguably IS) and the purposeful
      and institutional corruption of language as we’re discussing here?

      Or are you just driven to keep picking at conservatives with whom you disagree?

        ignore him, hes not worth responding to.


         
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        gs in reply to Ragspierre. | April 11, 2013 at 11:20 pm

        1. You can’t distinguish between a polemical use of language…

        Afaic it’s not always polemical. Somebody who throws out that term is not interested in finding common ground or serious discussion.

        …(i.e., “babykilling” which it arguably IS)…

        The key word there is ‘arguably’. Whether, when, and under what conditions abortion is infanticide is the issue under debate. Throwing around terms like ‘babykilling’ is counterproductive wrt the undecided part of the audience.

        …and the purposeful and institutional corruption of language as we’re discussing here?

        “Family values do not stop at the Rio Grande” is an attempt at such manipulation of the language.

        Or are you just driven to keep picking at conservatives with whom you disagree?

        I am driven to keep picking at conservatives whose behavior, I fear, will put the likes of Elizabeth Warren or Hillary Clinton in the White House if it continues.

        2. I have suspected that our host underestimates the seriousness of the conservative predicament. If so, the pessimistic tone of the present post is actually encouraging in a contrarian sense.


           
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          Ragspierre in reply to gs. | April 12, 2013 at 10:52 am

          Throwing around terms like ‘babykilling’ is counterproductive wrt the undecided part of the audience.
          ——————————————-

          Perhaps. In your opinion. But…objectively…it is not the same or even similar to an institutional, designed corruption of “illegal aliens”.

          You are simply wrong. And I think you know it.


     
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    Sanddog | April 11, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    ” Do not use illegal or illegals as a noun. It is considered pejorative by most immigrants.”

    What is the greater offense? Entering the country illegally and staying illegally or using accurate words to describe an illegal alien?


       
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      ThomasD in reply to Sanddog. | April 11, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      It is pejorative.

      That is entirely the point of any pejorative – identifying negative and/or criminal behavior as, and for what it is.

      That legal immigrants recognize that a distinction is being drawn between their own status, and that of the usurpers, is not a bug it is a feature.

      That is why the lefists hate it so much and it must not be sacrificed on the altar of PC.

    There’s a lot to learn from this ‘regular guy” linguist:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYhyOqUNieE


     
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    paulejb | April 11, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Taxes are revenue enhancements.

    Spending is investment.

    A minute decrease of the increase in government spending is a drastic cut.

    We have indeed lost the language to the charlatans of the left.


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