Wording Means a Lot

Filed under:Language Barrier,Need a Good Editor?,Not Cool,Politics — posted by Anwyn on January 3, 2008 @ 10:56 am

Take a look at the info-blurb under Thompson as he’s speaking here and then tell me about your lack of bias:

Fred Thompson Opposes Abortion Rights and Same-Sex Marriage

What’s wrong with “Fred Thompson Supports the Right to Life and Heterosexual Marriage”? Nothing except that the one they went with sends a context of opposition to something that should be a foregone conclusion.



  1. What’s wrong with “Fred Thompson Supports the Right to Life and Heterosexual Marriage”?

    Plenty. “Right to life” is a politically charged phrase, the rhetorical mirror image of saying one supports or opposes the “right to choose.” No word or phrase relating to that topic is perfectly neutral, but “abortion rights” is about as neutral as it gets.

    As to “supports heterosexual marriage,” c’mon, that one doesn’t even pass the laugh test. Show me a person who does not support heterosexual marriage, and I’ll show you a radical nutcase who is in no danger of becoming our 44th (or 45th, or 46th…) President. The question isn’t who supports or opposes heterosexual marriage, it’s over who supports or opposes its non-heterosexual counterpart.

    Comment by Xrlq — January 3, 2008 @ 4:13 pm

  2. I see and acknowledge your point. Honestly I wrangled awhile with a different wording other than “heterosexual marriage” and couldn’t come up with one that didn’t include the word “exclusive” which of course is also politically charged.

    I still have a problem with the captioning as it stood, though I guess not as intellectually honest a one as I would like. I.E. I so despise that abortion is currently a right that I would like at the very least to be able to put it into scare quotes, but it currently is a right and all the semantics in the world won’t alter that, I guess.

    Comment by Anwyn — January 3, 2008 @ 5:58 pm

  3. “Supports traditional marriage” seems to be the normal rhetorical opposite of “opposes homosexual marriage”.

    Comment by BC — January 4, 2008 @ 3:50 pm

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