The Power of Words in Wartime

Lakoff, Robin Tolmach
February 2005
Writing;Feb/Mar2005, Vol. 27 Issue 5, p6
This article focuses on various words used during war. Throughout history, language has been a weapon of mass destruction. An American soldier refers to an Iraqi prisoner as "it." A weapons manufacturer doesn't talk about people but about "targets." Bullets and bombs are not the only tools of war. Words, too, play their part. Under normal conditions, most people find it very difficult to kill. But in war, military recruits must be persuaded that killing other people is not only acceptable but even honorable. During the American Revolution, the British called the colonists Yankees. INSET: NAME CALLING.


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