Essay: Watching Out for Loaded Words

Via eye and ear, words beyond numbering zip into the mind and flash a dizzy variety of meaning into the mysterious circuits of knowing. A great many of them bring along not only their meanings but some extra freight—a load of judgment or bias that plays upon the emotions instead of lighting up the understanding. These words deserve careful handling—and minding. They are loaded.

Such words babble up in all corners of society, wherever anybody is ax-grinding, arm-twisting, backscratching, sweet-talking. Political blather leans sharply to words (peace, prosperity) whose moving powers outweigh exact...

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