I sympathize with American Muslims about the misuse of the word “Jihad” by, well, virtually everyone, but I was flabbergasted by the ad campaign launched by the Council on American-Islamic relations in Chicago to redefine the word. The campaign uses real Muslims talking about “My Jihad.”
To quote from the New York Times story: [...]
It’s only Day 1 and already so many rhetorical gems abound!
We often lament how politicians with agendas that hurt rather than help most people winning the messaging game. They are often better at simplicity and emotionality, two important elements to using language to engage and move audiences. While they may be hollow, false [...]
Definition: The term was first used in the American military to cover unintentional damage done in the pursuit of the enemy. It encompasses loss of people, productivity, and capacity – most egregiously used in reference to human casualties.
What is says: Collateral damage is loss that is accepted as secondary or less important. And [...]
Definition: Killing conducted in the name of “honor,” which is defined as fairness, integrity in one’s beliefs and actions, high respect or distinction. The so-called “honor killings” are the murders by families, mostly male members, of female family members who are believed to have brought “shame” on the family name. Women and girls can [...]
Definition: For an individual, a measure of the economic value of an employee’s skill set. Collectively, the health, strength, education, training, and skills that people bring to their jobs.
What it says: Economist Theodore Schultz invented the term in the 1960s to reflect the value of our human capacities, which he believed could be [...]
Definition: Fighting terrorism refers to the use of strategies and tactics to destroy terrorist organizations and any regimes that harbor them.
What it says: Terrorism is the calculated use of violence, or the threat of violence, against civilians in order to attain goals that are political, religious, or ideological in nature. It [...]
Definition: The term “government programs” is a euphemism for the many departments, programs, initiatives and amenities we have access to in our communities as U.S. citizens.
My beef? Let’s face it, almost anything related to government conjures up a negative frame in people’s minds – like excessive government spending, taxes, welfare and bureaucracy in [...]
New York Times Headline 6/1o/10: “Experts Double Estimated Rate of Spill in Gulf”
Definition: According to Wikipedia, “an oil spill is an unintentional release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment due to human activity, and is a form of pollution.”
What it says: “Whoops! I spilled it. Just an accident. Sorry, [...]
Definition: Merit Pay is increasing teacher’s salaries and/or providing bonuses to teachers whose students’ achieve high test scores on standardized assessments.
What it says: Ideally, “merit pay” would judiciously attract, reward and retain top talent in our nation’s classrooms. This is critically important. But, what currently stands in for merit pay is highly controversial [...]
Definition: ‘illegal alien’ refers to individuals who cross a boarder into the United States unlawfully and without proper documentation.
What is says: An intensely negative term, ‘illegal’ defines people as criminal, forbidden and illegitimate. While ‘alien’ is synonymous to foreign, unwanted and dangerous. Are we really likening people from other countries to creatures in [...]