• Failure to communicate


“The failure of voters to pass our school budget has significant meaning,” said the teachers union president.

That might seem like an innocuous statement, until one looks at the spin created by use of the word “failure.”

In truth, there was no failure involved. The voters in this particular school district achieved their desire by rejecting the budget proposal.

Of course, this is a common misuse of language. And it’s often common among those in the education industry just as it is with those in the communications field.

The current upheaval in the New York State Senate is a good example. Right from the start, the voting shift of two ne’er-do-well Democrat senators to wrest control from their party and hand it to the Republican side was immediately labeled by both print and electronic media a “coup.”

There was no armed insurrection, no physical misbehavior, no takeover of buildings and radio stations. None of that banana republic or third world activity we often hear about. It was nothing more than a bunch of petulant, greedy, self-serving politicians — redundant, I know — and a behind-the-scenes billionaire twisting procedures around for their own benefit.

Just two examples of mis-use and corruption of our language in a universe of such things.


About Bill Dowd

Webmaster/social media coordinator for the Southern Rensselaer County NY Rotary Club.

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