Decrease Your Vocabulary


Do you ever get tired of hearing certain words?

This election, I’m already sick of “change.” And hey: I want change; demand it. But the only change I can believe in is change with some specifics attached.

Put “Change” on hold, politicians, go to a thesaurus and look for another word.

For a change.

Another word I’d like to hear less of is “staunch.” Somehow, “staunch” only applies to conservatives. He’s a ““staunch conservative,” they say; she’s a “staunch opponent of big government.”

Can’t we think of another word? Like, uh, “principled”?

Why not put the word “staunch” on our taboo list for a year? Or, at the very least, try applying it to liberals only for a while.

I have a friend who thinks the word “natural” should never be used by theologians or political philosophers. What’s natural, for them, he says, is to make too much of the concept. And I’ve noticed that “natural” is meaning less and less on packaging these days.

Another friend thinks itâ’s a pity that Democrats get to call themselves “democrats” when they usually oppose democratic reforms like initiative and referendum. He also regrets that Republicans have come to support imperial stances, not republican ones, including an imperial presidency. But they still call themselves “republicans.”

I guess our favorite political words become not only cliché, but become the very opposite of what they originally meant. The more things change . . .

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

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