Mind your language

 

Here are two definitions of the work ‘mob’

  1. a large crowd of people, especially one that is disorderly and intent on causing trouble or violence: 2. a large crowd of people, especially one that is disorderly and intent on causing trouble or violence:

Here is a definition of paramilitary: “a large crowd of people, especially one that is disorderly and intent on causing trouble or violence”.

This is the start of a Letter to the Editor “Yet another sad day for Bermuda. When I heard the news this morning (yesterday) that the House of Assembly has been adjourned until February, I was shocked that the people’s business has been hijacked by an uncontrolled mob, who, incidentally, are a minority of the electorate.”

This is a statement from the BTUC: “The statement likened the police support unit to a “paramilitary” group, saying they were “bent on destruction”. Protesters, said to be exercising their constitutional right, had been “savagely and barbarically assaulted”, with many “still complaining of injuries”.

I don’t think either is correct and I am sure that those who believe it was a ‘mob’ would disagree that the police looked like ‘paramilitaries’ and vice versa.

Yet we have seen those and many other inflammatory words printed and voiced and it is indicative of a society that is deeply split.

But that should not allow their use and abuse. People have to be careful about the language they use – or are allowed to use – and must think twice before committing them to text.

All that is achieved is a heightened sense of injustice and, let’s face it, at the end of the day you are no better than each other.

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