Friday, March 20, 2009
Janet Napolitano is bringing kinder gentler words, aka euphemisms to soothe the minds of Americans who might be concerned about their safety. As Secretary of Homeland Security, she is responsible for a major element of public safety - defense against people seeking to kill Americans in acts of terrorism.
But you might not know that from one of her most recent interviews with the media. Rather than using the simple, straight forward everyday English that might cause alarm, she has decided that people who seek to do us harm should not be called terrorists.
That seems so harsh and unkind. She prefers the term ‘man-caused disasters’ for acts of terrorism. I suppose we should see what comes next. Perhaps she will decree ‘bomb’ to be too harsh, and return to the quaintly polite terminology of a century ago, and refer to them as ‘infernal machines.’