jon@serf.org (mistdog) wrote,
jon@serf.org
mistdog

Words that should be banned

linked

A word beloved of journalists because it is so vague and ambiguous that it obviates the need for any real thought. Since everything in the world could be said to be "linked", you can claim any two things are linked and it's true, without you having to do any tedious thinking about the precise nature in which they are linked; and you leave it to the reader or listener to jump to their own conclusions about the nature of the link, without taking responsibility for said conclusions. As in "this chemical is linked to cancer" when they were both mentioned on different pages of the same report. Or, as I heard yesterday, "it is alleged that the police officer was linked to the Ba'athist regime". The police force is linked to the government? Truth: undeniable, but information content: zero.
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