what is it good for?

10 Oct

war [wawr], noun

1. a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air.
2. a state or period of armed hostility or active military operations: The two nations were at war with each other.
3. a contest carried on by force of arms, as in a series of battles or campaigns: the War of 1812.

It’s a word that’s been thrown around a lot lately. I was watching the CBS Evening News earlier tonight and the leading segment was, of course, about The War on Terrorism. Then Katie Couric led into the second segment about The War Against Cancer. I’ve also heard War on Drugs, Battle Against AIDS, War on Obesity, etc.

War used to be a word that conjured up images of terrible battlefield scenes and dismembered limbs. But now, I hear it and it doesn’t have any specific imagery for me. The newsmedia are trying to take the feeling of distress associated with the word war and attach those feelings to another issue so that it is more engaging to the viewer. But this positive-feedback loop of sensationalism is changing our national vocabulary by removing the meaning from words that were once emotive.

Is nothing sacred anymore?

Now, you mull that over while I go fight The War on Hunger (i.e. eat some ice cream) and then participate in The Battle Against Sleepiness.

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One Response to “what is it good for?”

  1. cindy patton October 23, 2006 at 10:56 #

    I love it… something I had never thought about, but you are completely right, we have become numb to the word war, as we have many other things, thanks to the media.

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