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George Carlin - On Language

George Carlin - On Language

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Published by Tristan Rêveur
His ruminations on the modern English language's absurdity.
"You can't be afraid of words that speaks the truth...."
His ruminations on the modern English language's absurdity.
"You can't be afraid of words that speaks the truth...."

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Published by: Tristan Rêveur on Apr 13, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/24/2013

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"You can't be afraid of words that speak the truth. I don't like words that hidethe truth. I don't like words that conceal reality. I don't like euphemisms oreuphemistic language. And American english is loaded with euphemisms. BecauseAmericans have a lot of trouble dealing with reality. Americans have troublefacing the truth, so they invent a kind of a soft language to protect themselvesfrom it. And it gets worse with every generation. For some reason it just keepsgetting worse.I'll give you an example of that. There's a condition in combat. Most people knowabout it. It's when a fighting person's nervous system has been stressed to it'sabsolute peak and maximum, can't take any more input. The nervous system haseither snapped or is about to snap. In the first world war that condition wascalled shell shock. Simple, honest, direct language. Two syllables. Shell shock.Almost sounds like the guns themselves. That was 70 years ago. Then a wholegeneration went by. And the second world war came along and the very same combatcondition was called battle fatigue. Four syllables now. Takes a little longer tosay. Doesn't seem to be as hard to say. Fatigue is a nicer word than shock. Shellshock...battle fatigue.Then we had the war in Korea in 1950. Madison Avenue was riding high by that time.And the very same combat condition was called Operational Exhaustion. Hey we're upto 8 syllables now! And the humanity has been squeezed completely out of thephrase now. It's totally sterile now. Operational Exhaustion: sounds likesomething that might happen to your car. Then of course came the war in Vietnam,which has only been over for about 16 or 17 years. And thanks to the lies anddeceit surrounding that war, I guess it's no surprise that the very same conditionwas called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Still 8 syllables, but we've added ahyphen. And the pain is completely buried under jargon. Post-Traumatic StressDisorder.I bet you, if we'd still been calling it shell shock, some of those Vietnamveterans might have gotten the attention they needed at the time. I bet you that.But it didn't happen. And one of the reasons is because we were using that softlanguage, that language that takes out the life out of life. And it is a functionof time it does keep getting worse.Give you another example. Sometime during my life toilet paper became bathroomtissue. I wasn't notified of this. No one asked me if I agreed with it. It justhappened. Toilet paper became bathroom tissue. Sneakers became running shoes.False teeth became dental appliances. Medicine became medication. Informationbecame directory assistance. The dump became the land fill. Car crashes becameautomobile accidents. Partly cloudy became partly sunny. Motels became motorlodges. House trailers became mobile homes. Used cars became previously ownedtransportation. Room service became guest room dining. Constipation becameoccasional irregularity.When I was a little kid if I got sick they wanted me to go to a hospital and seethe doctor. Now they want me to go to a health maintenance organization. Or awellness center to consult a health care delivery professional. Poor people usedto live in slums. Now the economically disadvantaged occupy sub-standard housingin the inner cities. And they're broke! They're broke. They don't have a negativecash flow position. They're f--kin' broke! Because a lot of them were fired. Youknow, fired. Management wanted to curtail redundancies in the human resourcesarea. So many people are no longer viable members of the work force.Smug, greedy well-fed white people have invented a language to conceal their sins.It's as simple as that. The CIA doesn't kill people anymore, they neutralize

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Jerry Adams added this note
I agree with George, they are constantly "tenderizing" words to make us think in one direction or another, and the worst are politicans, second runner-up is advertising, in fact it ain't even advertising anymore it's commericals sounds more like comicals. As funny as George makes it sound it's actually a very serious infringment to us, it's unfair to soften the blow of the truth. Keep it real!

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