.

                     

The (general) PLAN                                            This effort has been going on longer than we care to admit, 
                                                                                                                                           on the web in one form or another since at least 2004.
                                                                                                                                    Most recent substantive content change August 19, 2012;
                                                                                                                                    to this page, July 13, 2014


        
    Exercise integrity, and encourage others to do so: Support each other, and encourage others to do so;
    Educate ourselves, and encourage others to do so; Use the term Usann, and encourage others to do so;
    Resist tyranny, and encourage others to do so; Exercise authority over officials, and encourage others to do so;

And take the country back, one day, one moment, at a time.
  Our goal is to follow the above plan in our lives and our business, thus being a part of returning our country, The United States of America, to the Republic it was envisioned and designed to be and The Great Experiment  -- the Rule of Law  --  brought to the world by the Founding Fathers.

We ask readers  -- and others --  consider doing likewise.

                            --==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--

 
 
Usann, and the rationale for using it, is further explained near the midpoint in "Watch Your Language" below.


 
 

We realize your time is valuable and respect you enough to give you an idea of how long this might take. Please keep in mind that this has not been provided as a 60-second TV spot, let alone as a soundbite.  "Watch Your Language" is about a10-minute read at a speed of 200 wpm.



[written initially September 2008; first posted to usann.us 021709]




Watch your language, or,
Human Nature and Language may be out to get us



Publishers' note, January 2011: While this was written some time ago and in some ways echoes some sentiments seen elsewhere on this site , we suggest that it is still pertinent and worthy of its own space in almost every respect, and particularly so as regards the last line (and the title).





OK, we’ve got a sub-prime mortgage meltdown and gross energy -- particularly vehicle fuel -- price increases and, another facet of that same problem, a falling dollar; deteriorating infrastructure; and natural disasters; to go along with an unpopular war; an unpopular President; an even less popular Congress; and a couple of unpopular candidates for the presidency; not to mention uncontrolled borders, questionable food safety, irrational trade and other "policy", and insane spending, both personal and public. Aside from those things, most everything seems to be about as expected here in these United States of America.

And a lot of it stems from two remarkably simple points: greed, and a refusal to speak the same language. I want to speak to the second of these first, because without a common language we’re simply without hope; we can throw in the towel right now and get on with the anarchy (Son, get out the guns and bring lots of ammo).

The language we too often refuse to have in common is not just a question of speaking English, the de facto "official language". And if you speak some other language, that’s fine; just don’t expect everybody, even anybody, else to have to figure it out. On a personal level, my hat is off to anybody who can speak more than one language. Still, I do not pretend it is reasonable for one person to inflict their language on others: when in Rome, do -- speak -- as the Romans do. It’s minimally polite as well as practical. In The United States of America, speak English…or bring your own interpreter. Yeah, that’s right: bring your own, don’t expect anybody else to race to your rescue, provide your own individual needs. That is part of what this country is about: individuals, succeeding -- and failing -- as individuals. I have nothing against lending a helping hand to those in need [more on that as we address how to remedy the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, which in turn would alleviate much of the rest of the economic woe in this country], or to "a safety net", but there are limits. If you choose to be here and not speak the language, that is your choice, and, with very rare exception, there is no legitimate reason for me to suffer the consequences of your choices any more than absolutely necessary. And that means you are to provide your interpreter, not somebody else is to provide your interpreter.

No, the language we seemingly refuse to have in common is in fact, a single form or dialect of --the same -- "English". The vernacular is so abused -- and abusive -- in lack of specificity and clarity, often -- perhaps more often than not -- intentionally, that the language itself is disintegrating.

But if we are to communicate, we must use a single language, which is consistently understood. In word and grammar, both. Not to preclude unusual usage, or colloquialisms, or insist on some form of "grammar police" [lest this writer be the first individual jailed and likely the longest to serve]. But we have to start by working at using the same -- and clear and specific – language.

Perhaps the simplest starting place is an effort to cease inappropriate use of forms of the term "America". Politicians and "journalists" in particular endlessly go on about "America" when referring to The United States of America. Why is that a problem? Because there are some three dozen nations in The Americas (North, Central, and South). In fact, as this writer understands it, Canadians often if not generally take offense at being called "Americans" because of the association with the U.S.A. And the peoples of Mexico are often referred to -- correctly -- by those south of that country, as "Norte Americanos". Speaking of the people of the U.S.A. as "Americans" or "the American people" is wrong not only because the terms can be as readily applied to any of the peoples of the hemisphere, but because it implies some monolithic character which is almost assuredly nonexistent; this group that is collectively the population of the U.S.A. [and use of "U.S." won’t work either, since Mexican coinage is of "Estados Unidos de Mexico", which translates to spoken English as "United States of Mexico"], is hugely diverse in almost every possible way, rarely demonstrating agreement on anything by "an overwhelming majority". [Oddly enough, English as the official language of The United States of America is perhaps an exception to that rule, recently reported as supported by some 83% of…uhhh…"Americans".]

So how to fix this "conventional" use? Usann. U.S.A.N.N.: United States of America, Native or Naturalized. We certainly have Texans and Nevadans, Virginians and Californians. By use of the acronym Usann, much as scuba stems from "Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus", we can differentiate between Usanns [the citizens of The United States of America, be they native or naturalized] and the millions of others [citizens of all those other countries in The Americas] who have, certainly in this time [21st Century], as much claim to being "American".

The moves afoot to make English the official language of states (some 30 now, and about 10 more considering such moves) and the nation as a whole, are a reasonable start…provided they do not try to preclude use of other languages, save in an official government capacity. Even so, we as a society must make efforts to embrace the language in its "best" form; "best" being a form that consistently communicates a consistent message through consistent usage.

That may make it difficult for some with a specific agenda that they do not want seen for what it really is, usually because the proponents feel it would make their agenda less successful. That’s why there is so much reliance in our language on muddying the waters with euphemisms and worse. Such use of language is actually abuse, both of language and those receiving the message(s). When a sender of a message has so little faith in it that they must essentially mask that message rather than permitting the audience the opportunity to make informed judgments as individuals (and trusting that audience to do so), the individuals of that audience are well-advised to distance themselves from the message (even as sent; and come to think of it, to distance themselves from the sender[s] as well?).

Now, aside from the introduction of the acronym "Usann", and some too-long and sometimes choppy sentence structures, most folk, it is expected, will have had little trouble understanding what has been provided here. Simply put, if we are to communicate effectively, we must use a common language, of terms generally understood by all: we must insist on being clear, and that others be clear in their dealings with us.



Greed
seems to have become rampant, and to be a major motivator behind much of the effort to de-value language, and will, it seems, likely always be a part of human nature. Not a part that must be heeded, but a part nonetheless. The good news is that another part of human nature, what might be generally thought of as a better part, that appears will also continue, is the ability of humans to not blindly follow their nature, their instincts; we can and even sometimes do Reason. Reason almost always demonstrates that greed is ultimately counterproductive. ["Enlightened self-interest" seems to work well, though; it seems a question of degree, and of perspective.]

Greed seems to be a psychological response to feelings of insecurity, a seeking of Power, in this sense a pecuniary Power, either to become unassailable or to impose Power over others. The only societal cure that comes to mind is minimizing feelings of insecurity while maximizing a realistic feeling of unassailability (in a material sense). Until we get there, we will always be dealing with the results of individuals striving to compensate on their own, through Greed. It is yet another narcotic, a drug; it may in fact actually be a drug, albeit one manufactured by the body itself (one of those chemicals produced by the body and then found in the brain).

[In a way, we have no drug problem in this country; we can get -- or manufacture -- whatever drug we think we might like; entrepreneurial sorts will provide. What we have, our stumbling block in this, is a series of problems that sends individuals into seeking the escape or relief seen as provided at this point most readily or comfortably or affordably, by "drugs" (including alcohol, which is an interesting case in point: the phrase too often used is "alcohol and/or drugs" when what is meant is actually "alcohol and/or other drugs". While that may at first blush seem a difference of little if any consequence, by separating alcohol from the concept of being a drug pretends a difference that does not exist, lending credence to alcohol being more socially acceptable than other drugs despite it being essentially the same in use, effects, and other characteristics.]

The significance of language reaches far beyond relatively "innocent" impacts, such as that of inclusion of alcohol as a drug. Much of communication is about argument; not conflict per se, but the presentation of positions in order to sort for precedence, to determine which is the one to be preferred. And he who controls the language will, all things else being equal, win the debate/discussion…and often when things else are not equal, that is, even taking the day when the position itself is the less substantial/justifiable/reasonable; when it could not possibly win on merit.

Perhaps these are most readily demonstrated in situations of a number of pet peeves. It must be acknowledged at this point that the writer has certain prejudices, particularly against stupidity; let us not get lost in specific positions on the surrounding issues at least until we can agree on language and terms in order to rationally discuss the issues, and until we acknowledge and heed the value of the language applied. That is the point: language influences the discussion, often unduly, even wrongly. A relatively innocent term for examination is one of those pet peeves, the terminology used to address Members of The Congress of The United States. While each is a Member of Congress, virtually none are ever called "Member". They have titles, that are gender-neutral and chamber-specific, yet there seems great reliance on the non-terms of "Congressman" and the even worse "Congresswoman", non-words created for pandering and ego. The non-words are used even by members of The House, even in pretending such to be their own title. But one virtually never hears such a term applied to a Senator, a member of the "upper" or "senior" chamber; only to those of the "lower" or "lesser" chamber…despite the fact that both Senators and Representatives are in fact equally "members of Congress". That being the case, one must wonder why. In fairly short order it becomes readily apparent that it is an effort to somehow put members of the "lower" house on a par with those of the "upper" house. Were that pandering not bad enough, "Congressman" has had to be modified to pander to sexism, taking another form; "Congresswoman". Remember that the real titles for the positions are in fact both chamber-specific and gender-neutral, so there is in fact no need for either of these non-words. But the very worst aspect of this particular perversion of language is that both the population at large and even those in the positions, are thus readily removed from the concept of "Representation": if the general population, and the individuals in the positions themselves, were constantly reminded by the reality of the title, those elected officials might be more in touch with being "Representative" -- something that too often seems an abandoned concept.

Language counts. Mother (amongst others) said "Say what you mean, and mean what you say." She (and they) had a point.

**



to remedy the Nations' distress....

OEuclidean

_*_*_*_

============================================================================

.


The
(general) PLAN                                         
                                                                                                                                 
        
    Exercise integrity, and encourage others to do so: Support each other, and encourage others to do so;
    Educate ourselves, and encourage others to do so; Use the term Usann, and encourage others to do so;
    Resist tyranny, and encourage others to do so; Exercise authority over officials, and encourage others to do so;

And take the country back, one day, one moment, at a time.
  

Our goal is to follow the above plan in our lives and our business, thus being a part of returning our country, The United States of America, to the Republic it was envisioned and designed to be and The Great Experiment  -- the Rule of Law  --  brought to the world by the Founding Fathers.

We ask readers  -- and others --  consider doing likewise.

                            



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