Words matter


I write in response to Elizabeth Shogren’s excellent article on regulations (“As Trump takes power, the White House targets regulations,” HCN, 1/19/17).

I highly recommend that your writers understand and follow the advice of George Lakoff, who studies human behavior. Even for those capable of critical thinking, 90 percent of our processing is below our consciousness. One consequence is that words matter.

For example, stop referencing “regulations.” Regulations are protections. Consider the article with every instance (except perhaps initially, where an explanation is provided) of the word “regulation” replaced with “protection.”  For example, “the House plans to begin undoing Obama administration protections” and “make it easier to repeal Obama’s recent protections, including one aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions. …”

Highlighting the positive side of this or any issue is not manipulative propaganda — it is the truth.

Anne Wilson
Boulder, Colorado

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