Loaded Words: How Language Shapes The Gun Debate

Here’s a great article I’m asking all my journalism students and all my lit-crit students to read.

Words do more than just describe the world. They literally define it. They shape and frame it.

“Most people don’t understand this,” says linguist George Lakoff of the University of California, Berkeley. “Most people think that words just refer to things in the world and that they’re neutral. And that’s just not true.”

Lakoff has written many books about this idea. “English does not just fit the world. English fits the way you understand the world via your frames,” he says. “And in politics they are morally based frames.” —Loaded Words: How Language Shapes The Gun Debate : Its All Politics : NPR.