HOLDING BACK THE TIDE OF FAKE NEWS AND ALTERNATIVE FACTS MIGHT BEGIN WITH MINDING OUR LANGUAGE AND A CONSCIOUS EFFORT TO CONNECT WORDS TO MEANING
difficulties because of the unreal expectations people have emotionally, materially and sexually. As one professional in the field put it: “Some people feel bereft and inadequate if the earth doesn’t move every night.”
The separation of words from reality presents us with challenges politically, socially and interpersonally, leaving us in a state of constant struggle as we try to ascertain where the truth lies.
The impact of the disconnect between words and their meaning is very obvious in Eastern Europe where the growth of trust in collective institutions of the state, in civil society and in public bodies is painfully slow. The very names of these countries was itself a disconnect between words and meaning, for example, the official name for East Germany was the German Democratic Republic, a one-party state and a far cry from what is commonly regarded as a democratic country.
Divorcing words from their meaning and decoupling them from their truth is a dangerous thing, at the very least it creates confusion and at worst it can lead to a real decline in communal trust and collective belief.
Holding back the tide of fake news and alternative facts might begin with minding our language and making a conscious effort to connect words with meaning. Let’s keep the wonders of the world ‘awesome’, our cheese cakes ‘lovely’ and our pantos ‘enjoyable’. If you want to watch a really ‘enjoyable’ panto could I recommend proceedings in the House of Commons.