Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Words Have Meaning, You Know

I'm a big fan of being able to express a point with exactly the right words at exactly the right time.  Big fan.  I also think it's a pretty rare thing, so I put a lot of practice into it.  What you just read is a third draft.

So here's my problem with "Black lives matter."

I think we have to conclude that the phrase is poorly constructed because it elicited too many responses of "all lives matter" and created the wrong debate.  It did not express itself well.

Possibly the problem lies in the fact that, these days, anything you can stick a hash tag in front of has the potential to spread like wildfire, which is to say the popularity of the phrase grew haphazardly.  "We shall overcome" certainly didn't suffer the same fate.

You can write off any opposition to the phrase as ignorance, but I think these are the problems you invite when you fail to find exactly the right words.

2 comments:

RONW said...

yes, it does come off wrong.

blournalist said...

Tough thing to criticize but it just seems to have taken a bad situation and made it worse.