Tuesday, September 25, 2012
by Terri Wagner Oh boy. Things are heating up now. What on earth was Harry Reid thinking? Let's not even worry about how you feel about Reid's comments one way or other, or whether you are or are not a Romney supporter, let's just take a deep breath and decide what this really means. As writers we know how important the right word is. We know the impact a certain word can have on our writings. We hope we choose the perfect words to convey exactly what we want...at least we strive to do so. As speakers we sometimes misspeak. We may in the heat of a moment say something not at all what we meant. And sometimes we just get it totally wrong. Words are important. The meanings they convey are important. I have been fielding questions about Mormons (LDS as I try to explain) for months now especially with non-member family (most of them) and non-member friends (again, most of them). To use a word like "sullied" implies something dirty, not just wrong, not just different, but ugly wrong. Maybe if I were Baptist, this would not be such an issue. But there are some many things out there either wrong, half wrong or true but not quite true in the way it is presented. Maybe I am being overly sensitive, but... I want to swot Reid with a newspaper. Geez fella give us a break. Use another term less fraught with such strong implications. Like maybe I'm a Democrat, and I do not believe in Romney's stands. It reminds me of a time in my former job where a Chinese article was translated from English into Chinese. The English version had the word "private" in it. The best Chinese translation was "secret." Wow!!! Not even the same thing. Or when we translated a banner from Chinese into English. For reasons I was never sure of the Chinese author insisted on a literal translation which only meant the banner was grammatically incorrect. It also sounded funny. However, maybe, a literal translation is a better one after all.