No doubt words have power and various connotations. Middle school graduates understand this. What many have not considered by President Joe Biden, however, is that once ‘word removal’ begins, there is a swift and steady flow of censoring that will follow. This has been evidenced in both Socialist and Communist countries for decades.
One of the first acts of Congress at the start of this new year, apart from yet another impeachment trial, was to abolish certain words from legal documents and speech. Words such as mother and father must be replaced with the parent. Sister and brother must be replaced with siblings. Democrats called this “making speech efficient and neutral,” then criticized Republicans for not agreeing immediately. Republicans countered with concern that removing personal titles and identifiers created cold and unfeeling language.
To reflect on “Newspeak” in Orwell’s book 1984, “to meet the ideological requirements of English Socialism in Oceania, the ruling Socialist Party created Newspeak, a controlled language of simplified grammar and restricted vocabulary designed to limit the individual’s ability to think and articulate “subversive” concepts such as personal identity.”