Sticks and Stones

“The whole tendency of equity language is to blur the contours of hard, often unpleasant facts. This aversion to reality is its main appeal. Once you acquire the vocabulary, it’s actually easier to say people with limited financial resources than the poor. The first rolls off your tongue without interruption, leaves no aftertaste, arouses no emotion. The second is rudely blunt and bitter, and it might make someone angry or sad. Imprecise language is less likely to offend. Good writing—vivid imagery, strong statements—will hurt, because it’s bound to convey painful truths.” In The Atlantic, George Packer argues The Moral Case Against Equity Language. “Prison does not become a less brutal place by calling someone locked up in one a person experiencing the criminal-justice system. (With all due respect to your balls, we’ve gone nuts.)

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