What Little Girls Teach About Being
Rick Barnett on the Corruption of Words
When my daughter was first learning to name the world, she liked to play a game with words wherein she would call an object by another name and then try to make the thing function as if it indeed were that object. She would put a Peter Rabbit saucer on her head and say “hat.” When it would not stay put and be a hat, and instead fell clattering to the kitchen floor very much like a dropped saucer, she would squeal with joy and try again.
She was discovering something fundamental about being: that no matter what you call it, a saucer is not a hat, and one cannot by an act of sheer will truthfully name a saucer a hat. Yet how sadly common it is these days to hear half-truths and outright lies—saucers named as hats—nonchalantly delivered as truth from government . . .