Language matterson July 18, 2012 at 8:55 pm
I have been reading around the blogosphere lately and one thing has really struck me. Language matters. Now I will admit up from that I was that dreaded specter the English teacher. So out in the open, I care about language. More of us need to.
One reason the economy is in the dumps is because we are not going out shopping, consuming enough. We consumers.
But we are citizens first. When we allow ourselves to be portrayed solely as consumers, consumers of goods and services, consumers of government, then we are allowing ourselves to be placed outside of things, passive.
The Constitution of the United States begins “We, the People;” the Declaration of Independence using phrases like “when one people dissolve.” People, citizens, not consumers.
I remember when the department in a business or college that dealt with employees was the Personnel Department. Think about what the term Human Resources means. A resource is something one uses and discards when no longer useful. Employees who are just resources do not need lunch breaks, pensions, sick leave, parental leave. They are things to be used and discarded. Employees who are personnel, on the other hand, do need these considerations. They are joint creators of what the plant, school, factory, farm, produces.
I pledge to never again refer to a Human Resources Department. It is the personnel department. Anyone join me?