In connection with the debate about fluoridating people, a letter about slanted language to the Windsor Star, Ontario, and writers and Editors generally.

                

Re: Health unit wants return of fluoridation, by Doug Schmidt, June 7.

Dear Sir or Madam

Editors should be aware of unconscious language bias when discussing plans to fluoridate people.

Yes, that's right, graduates of English, Psychology, Philosophy. It's people that have teeth.

Water doesn't.

Every repetition of "water fluoridation" or "fluoridated water" is a score for the proponents.

Supporters - who thanks to their own terminology are often the most woolly-brained about exactly what they are supporting - are unable to argue away fluoridation's all-encompassing invasiveness without arguing themselves out of business. 

I suspect Mr Bernays fixed this form of words to magic it away instead, to a technical and inert destination. Avoiding any complications with the Nuremberg Code or drug testing.

It is a battle for minds already lost.

"Water fluoridation" is a WMD-style deception which journalists should eschew on ontological grounds. Buy first, think later, seems to be the rule; of which I'm sure Eddie would have heartily approved. You can imagine him chuckling at the fluoridated public's orneriness.

"Fluoridating people" and its passive form, the real product, should get a good solid 100% usage in the media on every occasion.

Proponents will recognise "fluoridated people" also as a semantic bias. But the race has only just been set.

Even when it becomes necessary to admit to the fluoridating of people, they are careful to dismiss the 99.9% of them for which no advertising claims can be made.

As writers we can start to make up for the last seven decades of opponents' copying the proponents' deliberate decision to frame the issue their way.

Undoing mass media mistakes takes time. Unless...

 

Julian Bohan

14 June 2018

 

 

Don't forget How misleading graphics can get you chemically altered by mob stupidity