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Language Matters: time to reframe our national vocabulary for family breakdown

Date:29 OCT 2021

Language matters. In his famous 1946 essay Politics and the English Language George Orwell pointed out that there is a relationship of cause and effect between what we say or write and what we think. ‘The slovenliness of our language’ he wrote ‘makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts’. He warned that unless we think carefully about the language we use then familiar stock words and phrases ‘will think your thoughts for you’. More than ever before perhaps we are now aware of the power of language to influence thoughts.

As a society we have made huge progress for example in removing gender-biased and racist language from everyday speech. We do this because we recognise that using biased language can reinforce biased thinking. But there remain areas in which the power of language to influence thought and behaviour has not yet been properly appreciated. This article concerns the use of the language of aggression and conflict in the context of family breakdown and argues that it is time for change.

A new language around family breakdown is needed to ensure safety and protect...

Read the full article here.