When I first read about Michelle Obama’s risible #banbossy campaign, my mind immediately turned to this fascinating (and terrifying) passage from “1984”:
“It’s a beautiful thing, the Destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn’t only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. …
By curtailing frivolous and “fighting” words, the Party seeks to narrow the range of thought altogether, such that eventually, thoughtcrime will be literally impossible….
“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”
There is so much to criticize and mock about this so-called movement (and you bet I will soon). For now, suffice it to say that I don’t like someone telling me what word to not use. It seems….bossy.