Tuesday, July 28, 2015

War of Words

Since leaving the part time work force, I have realized that I have become obsessed with words.

In particular, I have become increasingly aware that my good vocabulary, minor in English in college, and my writing have become somewhat stifled. Although placed a lovingly second to my family, my need for communication in a professional manner has come to an almost complete standstill.

Thus, the use of really big and fancy words in the past few sentences.

However, since heading back to the stay at home mom field, I have been able to catch bits and pieces of news reels, magazine articles, and I have even read quite a few books this summer. Yay, me! I have noticed, however, that our world is increasingly obsessed with labels, words, knowing what something is called, and being able to point out and name where it originated.

With this information, I have also come to the conclusion that Americans today are really, really, really, really big on current words. The word adorbs adorns my daughter's Justice t-shirt. Selfie was announced as a new addition to the Webster's Dictionary. These words, however, are fake. They should not be in a college paper, published work in a journal, nor should they adorn any t-shirt other than someone under the age of ten.

I'm looking at you, Wal Mart patrons.

In terms of food and farming, words are toxic. Words can be scary. We were trained, early in my advocacy in agriculture, to rarely use the word production. Fertilizer, insecticide, fungicide....also kind of scary.


And livestock farmers? Forget about using words like feedlot and antibiotics.

So here's my question, since when did we become so hypersensitive about words? Why in the commentary of different columns, blogs, articles, and the like are people deemed shills? I had to google (another new verb) the word shill to even know what the heck I was called. Evidently, I'm a Monsanto minion.

And it's not limited to just commentary. Labels on food that are trying to be more information are just placing old words into new concepts. Just today, I saw a commercial for the "all natural" burger at Hardees. Really? All natural? First of all, you're eating at Hardees. Secondly, what does that really mean? What it really does is confuse the rest of the menu, labeling this burger as better than the other, even though all are probably crazy high in sodium, and, might I mention again, you're eating at Hardee's. 

My list could go on and on, but my point is this: choose your words wisely, and don't believe all words are created evil. Just because we use antibiotics in our beef cattle doesn't mean that we are trying to juice them up and sicken the world. Ask questions before you use words like shill or minion, or claim that my family's farm is not sustainable.

Words are powerful, meaningful and can be misinterpreted. So, when you're reading an article and are ready to respond, choose your words carefully.

And when you're posting a selfie, make sure it's adorbs.

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