26 June 2008

Something of a Belated Tribute

Most people have probably heard that George Carlin died just a few days ago. I haven't seen much of his stand-up, though I've run across rather poignant quotes from him. Mainly I remember him from the Bill & Ted movies and Dogma. But I ran across this post and thought the link worth sharing. A few excerpts:

In the first world war, that condition [PTSD] was called shell shock. Simple, honest, direct language. Two syllables, shell shock. Almost sounds like the guns themselves.
Then of course, came the war in Viet Nam, which has only been over for about sixteen or seventeen years, and thanks to the lies and deceits surrounding that war, I guess it's no surprise that the very same condition was called post-traumatic stress disorder. Still eight syllables, but we've added a hyphen! And the pain is completely buried under jargon. Post-traumatic stress disorder.

~George Carlin

And from Juan Cole:
I have concluded that Carlin was right about that issue. Being traumatized by war is not a disorder. In fact, if you are not traumatized by the sight of body parts flying all around you as you are splattered with the blood of people you know, then you would have a disorder.

And from me: No sane person chooses war when there is any other reasonable option available.


John said...

George Carlin slipped a lot of real wisdom into his acts. It's too bad that many people have the "He's just a comedian" attitude that may hurt Al Franken's political career.

John said...

Also, here's the rest of his bit on language

He rants against euphemisms that obfuscate language and inhibit actual communication.