2005's Politically In correct Words/Phrases

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Thu Dec 22 21:54:02 UTC 2005

In a message dated 12/22/05 10:54:13 AM, Bapopik at AOL.COM writes:

> 1. Misguided Criminals for Terrorist:  The BBC attempts to strip  away all
> emotion by using what it considers ‘neutral’ descriptions when  describing
> those who carried out the bombings in the London Tubes.  The  rub:  the 
> professed
> intent of these ‘misguided criminals’ was to kill,  without warning, as 
> many
> innocents as possible (which is the common definition  for the term,
> terrorist).
Then Timothy McVay (McVey?) was a terrorist? or not? Maybe a terrorist is 
somebody who tries to strike terror into people through random acts of violence? 
Whereas the London bombers were motivated by punishing what they saw as a 
corrupt society (and T.M. was motivated by punishing what he saw as a corrupt 
society)? Or what? But Americans (whose intent "was to kill, without warning, as 
many innocents as possible) were "terrorists" during World War II in that our 
ancestors firebombed Dresden and A-bombed Japan? 

My point is NOT to bash America, but simply to suggest that maybe TERRORIST 
in its vagueness, emotional power, and suggestion of definition-by-motive is a 
horribly imprecise word, in the end, to use about anybody--my "freedom 
fighter" is your "terrorist"--and that the BBC was trying to find a more semantically 
adequate substitute. I don't think that they at all successful ("misguided 
criminals" seems a bit weak, as well as a bit redundant--aren't criminals by 
definition misguided? how about "wanton criminals"?). Perhaps it is really not 
necessary to characterize the persons who carried out these despicable acts with 
ANY unique term?

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