In the words of Hamlet ‘words, words, words’. So, language is sort of my thing. It kind of comes with the territory of being a writer. Naturally, I think about the nature of language and how we use it. Language is how our brains translate our inner thoughts into outward communication. Language is one of the ways in which we exert power in the world. Now, with the Internet breaking down all the barriers, most people have a chance to voice their thoughts. That’s a double-edged sword that we’re still living under. So, let’s look at words and how they function in the modern world.
So, I have this strange linguistic dichotomy in me. Say I’m in a conversation with friends and one of them uses the wrong term, using stagnant instead of static for example. I might catch the mistake and mention the correct word. They’ll apologize and we’ll all move on. However, sometimes it’s worth noting that using the correct word doesn’t matter. So long as the two people in the conversation know what is being said, then as long as meaning is conveyed it sort of doesn’t matter how the language is used.
On the other hand, there are a few words that I care about that I demand be used properly. Like ‘political correctness’, like ‘ethics in game journalism’, like ‘feminism’. To me, using these terms correctly matters, even in casual conversation, and I’ll explain why. Look, I know how this looks. It looks like I’m about to start a rant. The truth of it is that I’m maybe about to start a rant.