Jacology: How to twist language

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(KPLR) – In Wednesday's Jacology, Charles Jaco looks at how to twist language.

This week’s George Orwell award goes to whoever named an outfit called Freedom Industries. Freedom Industries makes you think of, well, freedom, liberty, the Tea Party, all that stuff you hear in political campaigns. Freedom Industries is actually the outfit created two weeks ago in a merger between two chemical companies. Their plant along the Elk River in West Virginia was free all right, free from federal inspection. The feds hadn't inspected the place since 1991. So naturally, last week they leaked chemicals into the river that shut off drinking and bathing water for 300,000 people.

Calling this outfit Freedom Industries is just one example of how scammeisters and ideologues poison the language. For example, folks who own major corporations and businesses no matter what they end up doing are called job creators. Oddly enough, the people who actually do the work, the employees are never called wealth creators. But that's exactly what they do. Their hard work creates wealth for their bosses, sorry for the job creators.

A little closer to home, we have the Missouri legislature where so-called right to work legislation is being pushed. Those laws would help bust unions by saying that anyone who goes to work in a union shop, doesn't have to join the union. Studies cited by the wall street journal show that wages are lower in right to work states. Even one of the bill's strongest supporters admitted in a hearing that it would drive down wages in Missouri. Which is maybe why supporters have re-branded right-to-work, as freedom to work.

Which is just another example of how language can be twisted, to meet a particular political agenda. So keep your ears open. Especially is someone uses the word, freedom.

I'm Charles Jaco, and that's Jacology.

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Email: charles.jaco@tvstl.com


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