Dog whistles vs. smiley faces

In the context of a discussion about  “income inequality” (we’ll discuss that later), Kathleen Parker talks about political rhetoric and the different styles of each party.  Republicans, she says, use “dog whistles,” using loaded terms (big government!  tax-and-spend!  anti-family!) to summon the true believers.  Democrats use “smiley faces” to cover up unpleasant truths with positive emotions (“reproductive freedom” for late-term abortions).

Those are my examples.  What are some others on both sides? [Read more…]

A “non-human person”

A court in Argentina ruled that an organgutan is a “non-human person,” and so is entitled to certain rights, including the right to freedom, meaning that the animal must be released from the zoo.  (So an unborn child is a human being, but not a person, while an organgutan is not a human being but is a person.) [Read more…]

Merry Christmas vs. Happy Christmas

Matthew Schmitz explains the difference between “merry Christmas” and “happy Christmas” and why the former is a more fitting greeting.  See what he says after the jump, along with what I say. [Read more…]

Post-Christian vs. non-Christian

“Post-Christian” does not mean the same as “non-Christian,” observes John O’Sullivan.  A “post-Christian” society is one that seeks to maintain the cultural legacy of Christianity–such as human rights, benevolence, the institution of the family–after the religious beliefs that created and supported this legacy have been abandoned.  In their place, post-Christian societies try to substitute laws, regulations, bureaucracies, and secular ideologies, all of which fall short.

The British journalist develops these ideas in an address to the Transatlantic Christian Council in Brussels, excerpted and linked after the jump. [Read more…]

The language of totalitarianism

The “Dear Leader” of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, has executed his uncle, who had served as his advisor and mentor.   Max Fisher writes about the language the still-Communist North Koreans used to make this announcement and the worldview it reveals.  [Read more…]

The disease of having too much money

A teenager who killed four people in a drunk driving accident was given probation after a psychiatrist testified that he was a victim of his parents’ wealth.  The term for this syndrome–the bad effects of having too much money–is “affluenza,” deriving from “affluence + influenza.”

This wins the 2013 prize for the Cranach new word of the year!  (I know it goes back to 2005, but I just heard of it, and that’s what I go by.) [Read more…]