Winning the battle for the English Language is always a challenge when you’re a conservative. The left understands, and wages without mercy, the war for the language.
And for the most part, the media reflects the left’s view of how language portrays things.
So it’s been interesting watching the media coverage of the raft of Gun Rights bills. In a Twin Cities media that will refers to using ones’ carry permit as “packing heat” so frequently it’s beyond satirizable, there’ve been some improvements.
This past few weeks, a bill that would allow Minnesotans to join 39 other states in owning mufflers for their guns has been advancing though committee.
And it’s been interesting reading the headlines that local news organizations having been using for the story (in this case taken from online coverage); do they refer to gun mufflers with techical accuracy as “suppressors”, or with conspiratorial, theatrical scaremongering as “silencers”.
Here are some examples, with emphasis added by me:
- The Strib: ”Bill would allow suppressors, or silencers on guns in Minnesota” – the Strib chooses both!
- The Strib: “Minnesota House panel backs legalizing firearm ‘silencers‘ … - The used the theatrical “silencer” – but put it in irony quotes. They also used the term “suppressor” in the body of the story, indicating that on an editorial level they know how misleading the term “silencer” is.
- Rick Kupchella’s “Bring Me The News”: ”House committee OKs legalizing gun suppressors – but Dayton, DFLers a tough sell” – Kupchella’s organization is generally good.
- KARE11: ”Gun sound suppressor bill moves ahead at Capitol – Kare 11 - The Kare Bears go ultra-technical! Gun Sound Suppressor is literally the most accurate, dispassionate term of the bunch.
- Fox29: Legislature advances bill to legalize silencers – Bad headline? Reporter Tim Blotz offhandedly notes the difference, and uses “Suppressor” for the most part throughout his coverage – although anchor Jeff Passolt’s teleprompter copy used “silencer”. Points for accuracy to Blotz. One taken away for carrying Heather Martens’ testimony.
So minor kudos to the Twin Cities media; at least as re the very basics of language, you’re coming around ever so slightly.
Now, if we could do something about using the term “packing heat”, like, ever…