As long as I'm on the topic of being frustrated by people undermining their arguments with the wrong choice of words, I'd like to say a word about the abortion debate in the U.S. Not about abortion mind you, just about the debate, which is framed as being between the "pro-choice" side, which is for abortion, and the "pro-life" side, which is against abortion.
No! No! No! And a thousand times no! People who are pro-choice are not "for abortion"! (Well, maybe some of them are, but there are crazies on all sides of an issue.) No sane person could possibly be "for abortion" any more than they could be "for amputation" or "for mastectomies." All sane people agree that abortion is a bad thing and that the fewer of them there are the better. The only disagreement is over the best mechanism to use to minimize the number of abortions. The "pro-life" side thinks that the best way to reduce the number of abortions is to make abortion illegal and throw people who attempt to provide them in jail. The "pro-choice" side is too busy cramming its head further up its metaphorical butt by allowing the myth to persist that they are "for abortion" to have anything coherent to say about the matter at all. (Hm, what was it I was just saying about how descending into obnoxiousness tends to undermine one's argument? Does that still hold when one is calling one's own side names?)
I fear, though, that there are too many people with vested interests in the status quo of stalemated debate for any real progress to be made, even when the path is so clear.
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