An important opinion column from the New York Times. I realize it may get plenty of readers and attention, the thesis that words matter, and the words used here have the effect of trivializing and confusing why Trump's behavior for over a year over the Ukraine's need for arms to protect itself against invasion is impeachable.
I copy and paste the succinct text:
A plea from 33 writers: words matter.
To the Editor:
A plea from 33 writers: Please use language that will clarify the issues at hand.
Please stop using the Latin phrase “quid pro quo” regarding the impeachment inquiry. Most people don’t understand what it means, and in any case it doesn’t refer only to a crime. Asking for a favor is not a criminal act; we frequently demand things from foreign countries before giving them aid, like asking them to improve their human rights record.
That is not a crime; the crime is President Trump’s demand for something that will benefit him personally. But using this neutral phrase — which means simply “this for that” — as synonymous with criminality is confusing to the public. It makes the case more complicated, more open to question and more difficult to plead.
Please use words that refer only to criminal behavior here. Use “bribery” or “extortion” to describe Mr. Trump’s demand to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, making it very clear that this is a crime. The more we hear words that carry moral imputations, the more we understand the criminal nature of the act.
Please also stop using the phrase “dig up dirt.” This slang has unsavory connotations. Instead, please use the more formal, direct and powerful phrase “create false evidence,” or “find incriminating evidence” or the simpler “tell lies about.”
Words make a difference.
These are parlous times, and we look to public voices for dignity, intelligence and gravitas. Please use precise and forceful language that reveals the struggle in which we now find ourselves. It’s a matter of survival.
The writer is former president of the Authors Guild. The letter was signed by 32 other writers:
Lynne Sharon Schwartz
Alix Kates Shulman
Posted by Miss Drake