We communicate primarily through words. They can convey many thoughts and ideas, and in a civilized society we respect them for their honesty and not for their user’s ability for manipulation.
Recently the word “phony” was used to depict our president’s appraisal of the ongoing Washington scandals. Makes one wonder which one he considered most phony. Could it be the yet-unresolved murders of four brave and loyal Americans in Benghazi, or the IRS mishandling of the “nonprofit status” requests for information or its “slush fund” approach to expenses, or perhaps the Justice Department’s failure to administer legal matters in a fair and unbiased manner? “Phony!” Most Americans think not.
Words are used by politicians to convince us taxpayers that they are truly working for us, much like the chicken in her attempt to convince the pig that they should both contribute to the “ham and eggs” breakfast she was hosting for her friends. She was convincing. The pig relented. Her friends had a wonderful meal. The pig’s friends had a solemn funeral service.
Many that have taken a class from the late Dr. S. I. Hyakawa, a semantics icon, were taught to be alert and not be conned by a slick talker with empty promises. Words are important and must be treated as such. Seems it’s up to many of us to learn this fact the hard way.