Friday, November 03, 2006

"We All Know..."

To go with my political language commentary about Republicans working for you and Democrats fighting for you, I have been noticing the phrasing “We all know…” in political speeches lately. I think I may be hearing it more from Democrats, but I haven’t looked at that closely. When Republicans use it I just may not notice.

Either way, it makes me nervous. I am very suspicious of what “everyone knows.” People have tried to bury a lot of junk behind that phrase. I am not claiming that every time a politician uses it, s/he is lying, still less that no sentence constructions should ever begin with those words or the equivalent. It just narrows my eyes suspiciously when it’s uttered.

4 comments:

bs king said...

The Screwtape Letters is possibly my favorite book ever (or at least the one I've read the most...40+ times at last count) so I reference it frequently. That being said, Lewis actually refers to that sort of phrasing as something definitively not of God, and I believe I agree with him. The implying a statement or arguement has been made where none has, the implying that anyone who believes otherwise is somehow silly...it relates quite nicely to your theory that part of the appeal of being a Democrat is the appeal of being 'in the know'. I'm very upset by this trend by both parties...would it kill us all to talk about things we don't know or try to actually make a logical arguement about things???? Personally, even if it was something that truly 'everyone knew' the contrarian in me would point out that common knowledge is frequently wrong. A thing is not made more or less true by the number of people who admit it to be truth.

Jonathan Wyman said...

Don't worry Bethany- I'm always happy to talk about something I know nothing about.

bs king said...

That's good Jonathan. As a quick reversion to our elementary school days I will retort "If you only talked about things you knew about, you'd only get to talk about being STUPID." Ah, that takes me back.

Golem14 said...

I used to hear that sort of thing on Radio Moscow, Radio Tirana, etc., back in the '70s; people were referred to as "well-known" or "notorious" fascists, hooligans, or whatever the pejorative of the moment was. I still hear it coming from the far Left, with the amusing twist that the people they call "notorious" are often completely unknown outside their little social circle.