Ever unspoken? To unspeak is to magically change the meaning of an action or event by framing it differently. Steven Poole applied this word to politics, but it reaches far, far further. It’s a subtle act, quite vulgar if used it for crowd manipulation.
Why do we speak about job creation and not about job destruction? Someone seems to want credit there. Which of the two is real? Another one: if you copy a file but someone else doesn’t like that, it’s called piracy. Why not multiplication? If anything, this last word is closer to the truth. In this case it is unfortunate for the inventor of the word that Johnny Depp has made the pirate into a hero. Last example: safety. Probably the top argument to rob another from his freedom. It implies a threat. Short comment on that: who implies a threat, creates a threat.
Once detected, cases are easily popped. Unspeaking effectively, however, means choosing your words with such care that it is not easily discovered. An effective choice of words acts like blinders to our vision. It directs your attention, avoiding your mind from going anywhere else than where it was planned to go by somebody who thought it through before you.
So, once again, do you unspeak? Ever told someone that he has to earn money (instead of doing something he doesn’t want to)? Ever advised someone to be considerate of a third person’s feelings (instead of telling the truth)? Ever told someone to go on a holiday (instead of heaving himself checked at a mental hospital)? I suppose we all unspeak on some level. Perhaps we are trying to avoid anger.
A more interesting question here is perhaps: why do we accept it? Why do we keep ourselves in the dark? Are we really sheep?