To name a thing is to control a thing. Words have a power beyond the immediate and obvious. The process of naming shapes perception and understanding. It influences action and reaction. To name a thing as hateful is to make it hated. Human beings have understood that for millennia. It has shaped the rhetorical wars of propaganda and misinformation, and the actual wars of bloodshed and violence. Language is a weapon, as dangerous as any other in the right – or wrong – hands.
From the regional Press and Journal newspaper in Scotland:
A Scottish Government body has been branded the “Gaelic Gestapo” after Moray councillors were forced into backing plans to spend thousands of pounds promoting the language.
A 2005 law passed by the Scottish Government requires public organisations to draw up a Gaelic language plan when requested to do so by Bòrd na Gàidhlig – the board which polices the policy.
Community planning and development manager John Ferguson said the council would now have to “show equal respect for Gaelic and English”.
But independent councillor George Alexander fought the proposals and urged his fellow members to vote against progressing the scheme…
“They are behaving like a Gaelic Gestapo. The thought of road signs with Gaelic first and English second sends a shiver down my spine…”
For others to hate that which you hate, you must seize control of the names which describe it.