Doublespeak, or “you can’t choose who quotes you”

As a moderator of the The Kraken, the original fan forum for brilliant author Russell Hoban, and the webmaster for the SA4QE Hoban fan event site, I get quite a lot of alerts to mentions of Hoban and his works on the web. The latest looked promising – an article mentioning one of my own favourite quotes: “After all, when you come right down to it, how many people speak the same language even when they speak the same language?”

Imagine my disappointment, then, when I went on to read the article and found it’s on the website for Ohioans for Concealed Carry, a pro-gun pressure group (“We are about freedom. We are an advocate for all firearms related rights”). The context for the Hoban quote is as follows:

“…Without even realizing it, you’re probably using terms that actually help the people who want to disarm you,” says Alan Korwin, author of Gun Laws of America. He has written a brilliant article on the vocabulary of gun conversations, which includes some tactical advice. For example, Korwin suggests replacing the conversational phrases on the left with those on the right:

pro-gun —–> pro-rights
anti-gun —–> anti-self-defense
Second Amendment —–> Bill of Rights
concealed carry —–> discreet carry
gun lobby —–> civil rights organizations
gun rights —–> civil rights, human rights
handgun —–> sidearm
gun-control laws —–> illegal infringements
anti-gun —–> anti-rights, anti-gun bigotry

… and so it goes on. I get the feeling Orwell is turning in his grave.

Current mood: depressed

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