| 2003-07-01 15:31, by Julie Solheim-Roe|
Fascinating article about how verbal abuse can be subtle, invade our lives, alter our intentions and create social and political change. Uses George Bush's speeches to show how that works.
Written by Renana Brooks, PhD, clinical psychologist practicing in Washington,DC. She heads the Sommet Institute for the Study of Power and Persuasion and is completing a book on the virtue myth and the conservative culture of domination.
"Bush uses several dominating linguistic techniques to induce surrender to his will. The first is empty language. This term refers to broad statements that are so abstract and mean so little that they are virtually impossible to oppose. Empty language is the emotional equivalent of empty calories. Just as we seldom question the content of potato chips while enjoying their pleasurable taste, recipients of empty language are usually distracted from examining the content of what they are hearing. Domina-tors use empty language to conceal faulty generalizations; to ridicule viable alternatives; to attribute negative motivations to others, thus making them appear contemptible; and to rename and "reframe" opposing viewpoints."