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Language is power

Language is power

It can bring lies to light or cast a shadow over the truth; it can paint a vivid picture or draw a veil; it can be used to strengthen or to diminish. This was highlighted to great effect in the past week by commentators dissecting press coverage of two recent events. The first was in the reporting of the conviction of publicist Max Clifford for sex offences, where the judge's forthright and explicit sentencing remarks were diluted for publication by a string of euphemisms that, in apparently trying to protect the public's sensibilities, served only to obfuscate and lessen the severity of Clifford's crimes. The second, and no less shameful, episode involved the story of the kidnapping – or, more accurately, the abduction – during a physics exam of more than 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria, who will reportedly be sold and "forced into marriage". That's rape and enslavement in plain English.
read more from this TES article

 

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