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March 5, 2019
Letters #15:
I would like to draw your attention to how an inappropriate vocabulary can result in lost friendships, or bring parties to bear arms against each other, or lead to long term enmity and feuds that persist across generations. Thesauruses will provide collections of words, lists of words related in meaning, yet the difference of intent between these loosely-coupled words can shift meanings along power hierarchies, or denote class distinctions, or align parties behind barricades with banners flying above. The power of adjectives to disturb and disrupt is legendary. We avoid these staunch and steadfast weapons at our risk.