Language Shifts: Noticing The Signposts On Culture’s Slide Into An Orwellinan Swamp

Written by Larry Usoff on March 5, 2018

There are phrases and idioms that become popular, last for a while and then fade away. Take, for example, “political correctness”. This is a phrase that seems to be steering us in the ways of speaking more gently, less coarse, if you will. In actuality it is shrinking our vocabulary because words that WERE descriptive of a person or an event, are now politically incorrect. We don’t dare identify someone as being black, white, or Indian…nope, they are African-American, Caucasian, or Native American…and that is just plain stupid. It would be pretty stupid of me (and anyone else) to think that every black person in this country came from Africa. Oh sure, maybe seven or eight generations back, but not now. How many white people that you know came from the Caucasus region? Native Americans…now THEY have a legitimate claim to that, but when you grew up they were Indians, and you probably played cowboys and Indians…they were Indians in the movies, too.

Over the years, women have been called a whole bunch of names, and I mean words that you could say in mixed company. They’ve been skirts, frails, broads, dishes, and…. well, you get the idea. It defined a woman because they WORE skirts, they were considered “frailer” than men, usually had broader rear-ends and they looked good. It was more of a compliment than anything else. Today, if you used any one of those words, and several others as well, you might be on the receiving end of a lawsuit for defamation of character, or some such rot.

Men, on the other hand, seemed to have been called men, or gents, since forever. We just don’t seem to get the respect that women do, and that’s fine with me. There’s nothing I can find wrong with being called a gent, or a male…unless you add the words “chauvinist pig” after it. I have been called that also, by the way.

“I don’t read books”…this is something that I simply do not understand. People will spend hundreds of dollars to buy an electronic device so that they can read the same information that they could get from a very inexpensive newspaper, or a real book. In my personal library as I look at the shelves, there’s probably 200 books on all sorts of subjects. Growing up books were my ticket to adventure, history, education, and if you can picture a kid under the covers, and using a flashlight to see the word on the pages, that was me. Almost nothing escaped my reading, unless it was really scientific stuff which was just too far above my childhood mind. Today, to hear people tell me that they don’t read books is almost a crime, and in some countries, even now, to have books IS a crime. It certainly was in Germany in the 1930’s, and that country gave us some really brilliant minds.

Then there’s the people that say, “I don’t take any interest in politics.” These are the types that are willing to go along with just about anything that government does, because they don’t know any better. The facts don’t confuse them because the facts are hidden in a volume of double-talk spouted by someone that really doesn’t want you to know what they are really saying.

As an example, there are people in government today who want to dramatically change the words in the United States Constitution, and those changes would bring you less freedom. Unless you know about them you will find out that things have changed and you wonder what happened?

Pericles, way back in 430 BC said it and it’s still true today, “Just because you don’t take an interest in politics, it doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”. Take a moment and think about the
ways that politics, or government, affects your life. Amazing, isn’t it?

Finally, I don’t want to hear anyone say “America sucks”. Memorial Day, which we observe every year, is a testament to millions of Americans, living and dead, who didn’t think that was a good thing to say. Safe to say that there’s been many, many fights over that phrase, and the person that utters it better be prepared to defend it, and themselves.

For as long as anyone living can remember, the United States has been the protector of freedom and liberty for those who asked our help. Defeated enemies are now our friends because they recognized what was brought to them. Unfortunately, there are those in the world who will never know us as friends because of something that they heard, read, or believe in … and that’s sad. The America in which I grew up, and spent a major portion of my life defending, is changing. The generations coming along now will have to live with their decisions, or decide that this country is worth living in, and perhaps, dying for. Think about it because YOU have to live with it.

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Larry Usoff
Larry Usoff, US Navy Retired. Articulate. Opinionated. Patriotic. Conservative. Cultured enough so that I can be taken almost anywhere. Makes no excuses for what I say or do, but takes responsibility for them. Duty. Honor. Country. E-mail me at: