Language Barrier
Aaron Kushner
152

Nice piece. I, too, am fascinated by language and how resistant some people are to recognize that language is fluid, ever changing. In my communication classes I often shared with my students Lewis Carroll's brilliant conversation between Humpty Dumpty and Alice in Through the Looking-Glass:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”

Thank you for addressing what I believe is both a social and spiritual matter. However, may I ask one question with only the best of intentions? I wonder if your use of one particular sentence was necessary, indeed appropriate:

“The current trend is one that alternately riles up the elderly like delayed AARP benefits and stimulates the creative identities of American youth” (emphasis added).

It’s not a very empowering image of the “elderly.” I have been eligible for AARP membership since turning 50, just six years ago. I am not elderly. And in the very brief time I was a member, the only “benefits” for which I was eligible were discounts at restaurants, motels, etc.

Communication always has consequences.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.