Saturday, February 9, 2019


"By tricky use of words one can have power over others."  Then there's "Pseudo reality created by mere words." And there's Orwell's rather rigidly sensible "Stereotyped jargon consisting of formulas and empty slogans, whose purpose was to prevent people from thinking outside the boundaries of collective thought."  And there's a rarely used but a wonderful expression "Slang-whanger" which has been used to describe successful practitioners of this art and in my view at least slang-whanger is a much better conceptualization of this whole area of social interaction than Dawkins' inadequate little 1976 word, meme, or the beast of the Political Correctness, or the whole plethora of contrivances that fall into the category Talking Points, all of which fall into the class of Government by Logocracy.

Mind you, and worth bearing in mind the benefits of some form of logocracy, or government by words, because there was a time when a reputable member of the political class would react to such an accusation as "Sir, you are a scoundrel and a slang-whanging bounder," by his requesting pistols at dawn or calling out his military wing. It's not that I haven't been around a bit, I wasn't always a shut-in, and I'm very well aware that the word whang, whanger, whanged has in some parts of the world a use associated with the anatomy of boys, but at the same time given the current political climate, its ire and its many scandalous behaviors, this meaning in the whang part of the expression would seem, in my view at least, to add to the charms of the expression "Slang-whanging" as a really very appropriate all encompassing description of wide swathes of our public discourse.

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