Monday 23 April 2018

Fear of debt forgiveness is really all about justice

We are terrified that the chancers who milked the country and got away with it will profit, writes Carol Hunt

Words matter. The phrases we use to describe particular concepts determine how we view them. In Steven Poole's wickedly insightful book, Unspeak: How Words Become Weapons, How Weapons Become a Message, and How That Message Becomes Reality, we can read how political bias or specific value judgements can be included in what we think are innocent conversations.

Recently the media and general public have been bandying about one of the more noxious examples of 'unspeak' used in Ireland and elsewhere. I speak of the term 'debt forgiveness', which is about as laden with political bias as the terms 'smart weapon', 'collateral damage' and 'intelligent design'.

"OK," I can hear you groan at the mere mention of it, "haven't we had enough discussion on a subject that we are never going to agree on? Can't we just leave it?"

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