Re: Word-use spikes

From: Van oost Kenneth (
Date: Sat 08 Mar 2003 - 20:01:03 GMT

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    ----- Original Message ----- From: "Lawrence DeBivort" <>
    > The issue, I think, will come down to whether 'attention' to something is
    > equivalent to a decision to act on the thing. That is, the grotesque
    > of attention paid to non-factors, such as weather, sports and pop
    > celebrities, may have little bearing on how people behave and be of little
    > predictive help. (I was in Europe and Asia during the beginning of the
    > cricket competition, and was stunned to see the level of attention that it
    > commanded everywhere. It makes the US Super Bowl look trivial.)


    I am not sure if the following is cataloged as the same thing, but I think is has some relevance. The terminology used to get the war on Irak ' sold ' is partly due to the use of specific words.

    " War is in effect a battle of one people against another, and the US will represent this as the battle between itself and a de- humanised adversary. Not a country full of people will be bombed but ' objectives, targets ' will be eliminated. In the US targets become eveything from barracks to infantschools or do become facilities ( bridges/ roads etc.) In the abstract rhetoric of Bush' his War on Terror he never calls things by name. Saddam Hoessein is no longer a head of state, but simply Saddam, the Bad, the eminence of Evil. Such messages escape us ( in Europe) ,because Iraq is still for us a country full of people.

    In the coverage by example on CNN you never will see, death of injured people, always pictures taken from a great hight. Those images support the use of the words, the ' clean ' contents of the war doesn't show how people are blown to pieces. War has become a virtual, technological part of a playstation- game. Because of the fact that the image of one death American soldier can traumatize a whole county, the US opts for airraids. "

    ( Taken from an article I read)


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