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Gordon's D-Zone Arcive (2006-2014)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

EMPTY LABELS with FULL IMPLICATIONS

Part 1

If I had to say that the sky is green or that the forest is blue … what would you say? I expect that you pictured these very things, or at least understood what I was saying. Even if you might have thought I was writing nonsense. OK, before accusing me of overdosing on tea or salt, I’ll get to the point. Talking of ‘green skies’ or ‘blue forests’ are deemed meaningless with valid reason. After all, we know for sure that (during the day), we can see blue skies and (pollution permitting) green forests.


Indeed, there is agreement that green and blue refer to definite visible colours. However, we often forget that the words referring to colours are not really the colour itself. Great, so what? Well, the fact is that we don’t stop and think about the implications of words very often. Especially, when they are labels or terms that have gained a certain life of their own. For instance, I was just zapping on the TV when I hear words such as ‘mentally retarded’, or ‘genetically predisposed to …’ on what would be called ‘authoritative’ programmes…


But then, I wonder whether the implications of using these terms are fully understood. And then when I suspect that terms, or labels, take a life of their own. Indeed, when I was growing up the idea that a doctor would call me ‘spastic’ or imply it hurt, and calling me ‘special’ doesn’t help either. It’s not because I don’t want to face reality. It has more to do – and always has – with being defined solely in terms of those terms. I took a funny look at this in my previous post confessions of a shape shifter and it’s amusing to a point. But, on another level, words have the power to kill and destroy people by reducing them to words.



END OF PART ONE

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