Comments about ‘My view: The words we use shape our thinking’

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Published: Friday, March 9 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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Esquire
Springville, UT

Yet the Republicans want government intervention and assistance, just in their own way. And certainly they want the government to exercise control in our personal lives. That much is clear.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

" A pumpkin is something I can grow, the economy is not; it grows when conditions are right. " You can gorw a pumpkin how..by making conditins right. Governments can help make conditions right so that not just the economy grows but that society grows. It's we the people not we the economy.

Sandy
Salt Lake City, UT

Love this piece! We could write a daily column for years on how we create the world we live in with our words, for better or worse.

This is why there is debate about gay "marriage" -- isn't it amazing that it's coming down to a debate about what we call it. How we name things and how we speak about them has everything to do with what we end up doing, and what ends up happening. It's truly amazing.

This commentary scratches the surface. Thanks so much!

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

pragmatistferlife,

What "conditions" are you talking about? Taking money out of the economy via higher or more taxes? More government regulations so that business are forced to go offshore? Shutting down opportunities for private industry to hire tens of thousands of workers by shutting down drilling in the Gulf and in the Western States?

Mr. Bishop was right. Government can hinder, but it can't help without first hurting someone or something.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

When people talk about "paying for a tax cut" they mean what spending are you going to cut to offset the decrease in revenue. I think everyone understands that.

slpa1
West Jordan, UT

Nielson writes:

"Increasingly frequent repetition of this phrase over the past 20 years has misled more and more of us into believing that growing the economy is something the government can actually do."

And, apparently, people believing that the President should be credited when it grows, and blamed when it doesn't.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If we could just stop business from interfering with our government, we would not have to put up with so many people who donÂt either know how the system works or are willing to lie to the people.

Nobody can grow a pumpkin. To get a pumpkin, a person puts the right seeds in some dirt, adds water as necessary, then stands back while nature does the rest.

The economy, like the pumpkin, will do itÂs thing if the seeds are put in the right place and protected from the birds.

Efforts by our government to grow the economy is like the misguided farmer who simple throws the seeds on the ground where the hungry business-birds gobble them up before nature gets to act.

The truth is that everything we have, everything we do and everything we believe has been enabled by our nanny government doing itÂs job of providing safety, protection and all the other things we need. And that because the government has been able to sneak by the birds some seeds that enable people to grow.

the truth
Holladay, UT

"The words we use shape our thinking"

Which is probably why the far left constantly tries to control what words and phrases can and can not use in the public square. political correctness is a terrible task master.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

George Carlin explained words a while ago. He explored how we empowered words, and how they enslaved us. George was the best.

spring street
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

@Jthompson
fortunately enough people finally caught on to what deregulation and massive tax cuts do for our economy and voted republicans out in 2008, unfortunately by then the damage had already been done. Hopefully peoples memories are not so short that they have already forgotten that the ideas republicans are spotting are the very ones that got us into this mess in the first place. we have been down your road before J we know where it leads, no thanks.

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

@ the truth: The PC movement started with the far right and their efforts to prohibit the use of swear words.

I find it interesting that so many on the right are so offended by words describing body parts or bodily functions negatively and so anxious to have those words prohibited and yet so willing to cry foul when the conversation turns to limiting words that describe actual human beings negatively.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

At some point J Thompson you need to take a reading comprihension course.." Governments can help make conditions right so that not just the economy grows but that society grows." In other words government can protect the people from the tyranny of capital. Capital will grow, but left on it's own it won't grow in a way that aids the growth of a diverse vibrant society. Yes government does channel and in some cases restricts economic growth..that's the point. However, if that activity were as pernicious as you claim we couldn't be the largest economy in the world nor would we have a stock market at record levels.

the truth
Holladay, UT

RE: Kalindra

It is not the swear words we need to worry about.

It is when some tries to control the discussion or even deny any discussion, when some will not allow alternative opinions and views to be heard, be it religion, political ideologies, the enviroment, the climate, homosexuality, race, aex, our origins, and so forth.

Worrying about swear words seems silly after that.

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

And what words addressing those issues are being limited?

Challenging your assumptions - religious or otherwise - is not silencing them. Choosing not to do business with those who support viewpoints you do not agree with is not silencing them.

Who is silencing whom?

samhill
Salt Lake City, UT

"Linda, who came from a different racial background than I, bristled. 'We don't think as a people,' she said. "'Just like you, we are individuals!'"

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Hmmm. Despite the apparent oxymoron of the phase, "...we are individuals!", I understand what she meant and agree with it wholeheartedly.

We are all individuals. The greatest similarity among us all is that we are each completely unique. Not exactly like us in the entire universe ("Identical" twins, notwithstanding.)

I realize that the article was actually about the use of language and the insidious misuse of it that has become evermore present and prevalent in our evermore market-driven society. Like Rep. Nielson, I deplore that and hope we can, somehow, reverse the trend.

But, I also wanted to point out the coincident theme of individuality because I also think that one of the biggest reasons that language is being misused is to manipulate too many people into a group-think mindset that is useful for influencing masses of people but, often, destructive to individuals and, as a natural though somewhat ironic consequence, society as a whole.

We will do better if each of us remembers to think as an individual.

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