Taking Back Control of Our Language

I must admit to a failure. I started to use the word ‘quit’ as regards stopping smoking. That was a failure in the first degree. It allowed a rather nasty word to enter our minds as regards our enjoyable habit. I remember seeing the word ‘quit’ from time to time. Usually, it was in the context of someone deciding to give up. “I QUIT!”, he said,  meaning that he had had enough and was getting out. You would rarely see a statement like, “I have had enough of this job. It is sickening me. I shall stop doing it”. But you might well see, “I have had enough of this job. It is sickening me. I quit”. ‘Quit’ is very emphatic.

But there is more. When you approach a red traffic light, you ‘stop’ your car. You do not ‘quit’ your car. To ‘quit’ your car would mean getting out of it. It means ‘to leave’.

And that is what the word ‘quit’ always meant. It meant ‘leave’, ‘exit’.

No one ‘quits’ smoking. They ‘stop’ smoking. So, from now on, I shall avoid intensely allowing my language to be perverted. A person ‘starts’ smoking. He does not ‘initiate the use of tobacco’. You may see my point. ‘Initiate the use of tobacco could meaning anything at all which involves the ‘use’ of tobacco, such as the creation of ecig liquids. Chemically, there is no need to use tobacco to make ecig liquid. The nicotine can be just as easily extracted from the green leaves. Only cured leaves are ‘tobacco’.

A person might ‘stop’ smoking’, and then might ‘start smoking again’. Is there a word like ‘unquit’? No, there is not. Is there a phrase, ‘stop quitting?’ There is not.

Think also about the word ‘risk’. Imagine betting on a horse race. There is a ‘chance’ that you might win your bet. But we would not say ‘there is a risk that you might win your bet’. And yet the word ‘risk’ could easily be applied to good outcomes as well as bad outcomes.

The word ‘risk’ implies bad outcomes.

But does that imply ‘DANGER’? That idea is what should sink SHS ‘risk’. SHS is not DANGEROUS’. There is a ‘risk’ of harm for some people, such as asthmatics (so they say), but that ‘harm’ is normally not ‘dangerous’. It is a passing nuisance, easily avoided by not going into places where the irritant exists. I remember going into my favourite bar in Magalluf. Standing at the end of the bar was a woman. As I ordered my drinks, I went to light a cig. She said, “Please do not do that. I have asthma”. So I looked at the owner behind the bar, and he looked at me, and I said, “Sorry. I shall wait [words to that effect]”.

The importance of the above is that I was prepared to ‘give way’, even in a nonsensical situation. What on earth was a asthmatic doing standing at the bar in the worst possible position? Why was she there at all? Why was she in a small bar which could become full of tobacco smoke when all the hotels roundabout have huge ‘assembly’ rooms where tobacco smoke disappears almost instantly? Would you put yourself IN DANGER if there was no need to do so?

The important word there is DANGER.

Is SHS dangerous? 

There might, perhaps, be some minuscule risk of unspecified harm some time in the future, but is there any danger? 

The fraud of SHS, as regards smoking bans, is the the invocation of ‘risk’ as though it was a ‘danger’. The Surgeon General of the USA said, “There is no safe level of SHS”. I think that there is no ‘safe level’ of Surgeon General pronouncements. They are ‘dangerous’.

Where the blame lies for the distortion of our language, the lies and the exaggerations is perfectly obvious. It lies with successive Ministers of Health. For decades, they have been frightened and bribed by Health ‘Experts’. The result? Doctors and Hospitals being overwhelmed by perfectly healthy people who are afraid that they have ‘smoking related diseases’ even if the do not smoke.

Smokers do not ‘quit’ – they ‘stop’.

Smokers do not ‘initiate’ – they ‘start’.

Smokers who try to ‘stop’ do not ‘relapse’ – they ‘start smoking again’.

There are no such things as ‘smoking related diseases’ – there are ‘diseases’ (communicable) and there are ‘conditions’ (non-communicable). To describe a ‘condition’ as a disease if a fraud.

So we take back control of our language. There is a ‘risk’ that a meteorite might drop out of the sky and bash your head in. But what is the danger? There is a risk, but no danger. 

We must not let ASH ET AL distort our language. They are fond of using phrases such as, “There is a worry that….” Such phrases are intended to CREATE worry. There is, in fact, no worry at all. That is what I mean be distortion. This distortion is wonderful in its creativity. It results in statements such as “70% of smokers like smoking bans because the bans ‘help them’ to quit”.

I dare say that there are enough frightened smokers who would welcome a total prohibition. In fact, it is hard to see how such terrified people could do otherwise than welcome prohibition. They have said so themselves. Anyone who says, “The smoking ban helped me to stop smoking” is demanding prohibition. Not so much as an individual but as a ‘wish-think’ sinner – one of a group of ‘wish-think’ sinners.

It comes down to this.

There are terrified people. They may not know that they are terrified. This does not only apply to smokers. We should be a happy people, since we live in a wealthy country – no one starves and we do not step over dead bodies in the street. No one starves. So why are we all unhappy?

The fact is that we ARE happy, by and large. It is organisations like ASH ET AL which have the deliberate intention to make us unhappy. They disseminate misery.

Retrieve our language. Replace ‘addicted’ with ‘happy with’. “I am not addicted to chocolate, but find that eating chocolate is pleasurable and I have no intention of stopping eating chocolate”.

So our dictionary must exclude the words an phrases that TC use as much as possible.

 

 

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5 Responses to “Taking Back Control of Our Language”

  1. smofunking Says:

    I stopped smoking for about six months or so back in the mid 1980s but at no point do I ever recall saying that I’d ‘quit’ smoking, as I had no proven record of being able to predict the future.
    Also, the phrase, “I’ve quit smoking,” just sounds to grandiose to be taken seriously and far too defeatist to be able to boast about.

    • junican Says:

      The use of the word ‘quit’ was a deliberate decision by TC only recently, and they have projected that word with all their might. We must ensure that we do not fall into that trap. But, there again, we could also expand use of that word. For example, I could ‘quit’ voting, or ‘quit’ buying taxed cigs.

  2. Michael J McFadden Says:

    Junican, yes indeed! Language is EXTREMELY important!

    You note, “So our dictionary must exclude the words an phrases that TC use as much as possible.” and I strongly agree, particularly when those words and phrases have been artificially created to advance the antismoking stance.

    E.G., to take one of the most basic, “secondhand smoke.” I try, whenever possible (which is most of the time!) to use the term “secondary smoke” instead. It’s close enough in sound that people may have momentary, but only momentary, confusion. And, most importantly, it overrides the purpose of the choice of the “secondhand” term that you saw discussed on antismoking bulletin board systems and such back in the ’80s: The Antis didn’t like the BigT term “Environmental Tobacco Smoke” or ETS because it was too clinical and clean and scientific. Some of the more senior Antis objected to “passive smoking” that had been hyped after Godber’s 1973 World Conference on Smoking And Health because it only referred to the action without a comfortable noun. (And likely as well because of the bad memories of the history of that term — the Nazi’s use of Passivrauchen in their antismoking campaigns.) The virtue of “secondhand smoke” was seen to be that it conjured up images of something that was used, and was now waste to be thrown away — where someone else might have to pick it up and use it against their will because their choices were constrained. And, conveniently, a provided a dirty-sounding noun phrase to throw up against BigT’s clean and clinical ETS.

    You can see its artificial creation in this N-Gram:

    https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=secondhand+smoke%2Cpassive+smoking&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=5&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Csecondhand%20smoke%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cpassive%20smoking%3B%2Cc0

    as well as the earlier use of passive smoke in the Nazi era (just a very small bump-line in that graph, but you can see it there.)

    – MJM, who suggests putting “like licking an ashtray” into a separate N-Gram as well — just to see how totally artificial THAT concept also is!

    • smofunking Says:

      Have you noticed that on auction sites the phrase ‘second-hand’ has now been replaced by ‘pre-owned’ or even ‘pre-loved’?

      Ahhh, ‘pre-loved smoke’. It’s amazing what happens when smokers put their minds together. Amazing but not surprising.

    • junican Says:

      The graph shows a tiny use of both phrases around 1940 which, I assume, coincided with the Nazi Germany. Then nothing until the war on tobacco companies started around 1965. By 2000 or so, the phrase ‘Second Hand Smoke’ had overtaken ‘Passive Smoking’. But there was not much difference. Both were being freely used.

      “Kissing a smoker is like licking and ashtray”. Right. So just how many people habitually lick ashtrays and what do they experience?

      ‘Secondary smoke’ is a good phrase, if only to produce the same sort of ‘cognisant dissonance’ that SHS produces. Smoke is smoke.

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