|Steven Pinker in 2011|
People invent new "polite" words to refer to emotionally laden or distasteful things, but the euphemism becomes tainted by association and the new one that must be found acquires its own negative connotations.To sum up, a politically-correct and -neutral term becomes emotionally charged -- and therefore offensive -- and so it must be replaced by a new politically-correct and -neutral term. As an example, Mr. Pinker offers the word "slum," which was replaced by "ghetto," which was in turn replaced by "inner city," and has since reverted back to "slum" (presumably because "slum" has "healed" from its negative connotations).
Now that that's out of the way, we get to the real Quote of the Day:
The euphemism treadmill shows that concepts, not words, are in charge: give a concept a new name, and the name becomes colored by the concept; the concept does not become freshened by the name.So, what does all this psycho-babble have to do with a gun blog, you ask?
Two words: "Gun Safety".
I'll leave the inferences and conclusions to you, dear readers. Feel free to sound off in the comments; I have some additional thoughts, but I'd like to know what you all think.