Friday, November 7, 2008

Arizona Supreme Court Bans Use of "Illegal" and "Alien"

An Arizona Supreme Court Justice has agreed to enforce a ban on the terms "illegal" and "alien" in all state courtrooms on the grounds that the terms are "inflammatory". Of course, his ruling gives no credence to the fact that 'illegal alien' is a legal term used extensively throughout federal immigration law. There currently exist no equivalent legal term for denoting a person who resides illegally within the United States.

Jem Berkes wrote an essay in 2000 on the dangers of the use of language to control thought:
George Orwell, like many other literary scholars, is interested in the modern use of the English language and, in particular, the abuse and misuse of English. He realises that language has the power in politics to mask the truth and mislead the public, and he wishes to increase public awareness of this power. He accomplishes this by placing a great focus on Newspeak and the media in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Demonstrating the repeated abuse of language by the government and by the media in his novel, Orwell shows how language can be used politically to deceive and manipulate people, leading to a society in which the people unquestioningly obey their government and mindlessly accept all propaganda as reality. Language becomes a mind-control tool, with the ultimate goal being the destruction of will and imagination.

No comments: