Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Mon Jun 23 17:44:47 UTC 2003

On Sun, 22 Jun 2003, Robert Hartwell Fiske wrote:

#translation at BILLIONBRIDGES.COM writes:
#> Wouldn't this remarkable ability of Bush "and his
#> minions" to "deceive the world" imply at least a
#> modicum of smarts and care on their part, two
#> qualities not generally associated with laxness?
#Perhaps, but the bigger, more disturbing, issue is that the general
#public (esp., it seems to me, in this country) does not think; people
#do not question as they should. People are too easily duped. Lies,
#however deliberately or cleverly used, remain lax language.

Well, yes, if you are also willing to call a murder carried out with a
skillful single shot "lax weapon usage". Falsehood is one of the
purposes of language. I'm not defending such lies, of course, but I
think most people understand "lax language" to refer to the tool rather
than the purpose to which it is put. (Disclaimer: I'm a linguist and I
hang out with linguists. Maybe my idea of "most people"'s understanding
is incorrect.)

-- Mark A. Mandel

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