August 29, 2019 | From Fox News
San Francisco, a city described in song for its natural beauty, is descending into an abyss of homelessness, the use of sidewalks as toilets and a place you might not want to visit, much less live.
The latest, but surely not the last demonstration of insanity, is San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors’ adoption of new “person first” language guidelines meant to “change the public’s perception of criminals.” The words “convicted felon,” “offender,” “convict,” “addict” and “juvenile delinquent” are out. These individuals will henceforth be referred to as a “justice-involved person.” Someone previously called a “criminal” will now be referred to as “a returning resident,” or “a formerly incarcerated person.”
Supervisor Matt Haney told the San Francisco Chronicle the intent is to keep people from being “forever labeled for the worst things that they have done. We want them, ultimately to become contributing citizens, and referring to them as felons is like a scarlet letter that they can never get away from.”
A noble objective, to be sure, but language has — or used to have — a purpose beyond interpersonal communication. Like so much else today, language has now been appropriated to advance political agendas.
The encroachment of euphemisms on common sense is everywhere. Illegal immigrants have become “undocumented workers.” Babies in the womb lose their humanity when they are labeled “fetuses.”
Euphemisms are most used to hide a more accurate description of behavior or status in order to avoid conflict, or not injure someone who might be offended or hurt. It fails to communicate anything meaningful, while claiming to do so. George Orwell called it “Newspeak,” or “doublespeak.”
Too often, euphemisms are used to make bad behavior appear good, or at least tolerable, and to allow one to avoid responsibility and accountability. They are interpreted according to one’s personal wishes. As Humpty Dumpty told Alice in the Lewis Carroll classic: “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”…
Instead of applying euphemisms, San Francisco should be seeing to the homeless (“previously housed individuals”?) and the filthy streets that now require maps so people can avoid stepping in human waste.
Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, but the city seems to have lost its mind there too.
(Excerpt from Fox News article by Cal Thomas.)