Clarity trumps ‘woke’ edits
Each year just before the calendar changes to another 12 months in January, millions of people take the time to make resolutions. Whether it be losing weight, or reading more books, or taking a daily walk, these resolutions are a fond hope the new year will be different than the one just completed.
We at the West Haven Voice have made a resolution as well; or, more correctly, we have formalized in our practices those things that will maintain clarity, and not cater to the “woke” political nonsense of the current age. We are are going back to standard English.
Language has become increasingly politicized over the last decade or so, with so-called “progressives” (though we see nothing progressive in their thoughts only totalitarian) editing people’s language and calling for the elimination of certain words. This is prompted by a recent introduction by Microsoft of a new addition to their programs that will underline in purple those words that might be “offensive” to some.
Let us say right off, it is our estimation words are not in and of themselves offensive, what is happening is people are trying to control the conversation. Limiting word use and choice is one way to put one’s opponents at a disadvantage. The word used in the stories we read included “mankind.” Let us say, if a reader or a student or a teacher or a professor or anyone is upset by the use of the word “mankind,” there is more going on there than rhetoric. We will leave it to the psychological professionals to manage it.
The Associated Press Stylebook used to be the reporter’s bible for word use, grammar, and structure. It has fallen on tough times, looking to become more “woke” in its recent editions, disallowing the use of words that might offend. Of course, the worst example was the changing of the word “riot” when reporting on the tumult of two summers ago. There have been others, equally baffling, equally silly.
As we said, the use of language is a tactical matter when it comes to matters political, and the so-called “progressives” have been using it to success. While we might be a small cog in the journalistic world, we will be a different one. We stopped using the AP Stylebook years ago, as it has contributed to the debasement of the language.
Universities can put out all the litanies of offensive words they desire, that is their right. We will use them. If it has “man” in it, like “chairman” that will be the preferred use. The masculine will take precedence when the gender of a noun is in question – as has always been the case until the past few years. There are only two sexes, male and female, and gender will refer to nouns, not one’s self-identity. While we will not be rude to one who has a gender issue, we will not cater to it either. Biology counts. We follow the science. We will not make one’s problem our problem.
Over the last year, we have seen individuals and groups attempt to have society fall into line with their specific demands as it concerns language and identity. It has resulted in a word salad that is neither clear, nor accurate. In fact, it is getting to the point, words used by one group of progressives is offensive to another, causing situations that once were the topic of The Onion.
We look to be clear and accurate. We will not cater to linguistic gymnastics. We will leave that to the liberal organs of journalism. In our little niche we will do what is right and strike a blow against the language fascists.