As a little girl, money was scarce. Living in in a tiny apartment poor was well known in my vocabulary. I was around children who had money and opportunity and two parents where I had no money, and just a single mom. Kids laughed when I had holes in my shoes and ripped stockings and none of the popular toys, and parents whispered when my mom couldn’t afford to rent a hall for my birthday party or a clown, or a larger cake. It hurt when others pointed it out. I felt ashamed of my small home and my clothes and the word poor, and the fact that it was a woman raising me.Order now
I would have been happy with politically correct language, but the best would have been if no one had ever pointed it out, then maybe i would not have felt so alienated growing up. The words that offended me hurt as a child but does it mean language should be regulated? The Articles by Kakutani and Lakoff are compared and contrasted based on free speech in language, while both provide great arguments, Lakoff is more persuasive due to her use of logos. Robin Lakoff’s “Hate Speech” makes compelling arguments about the language that is considered “the norm”.
Lakoff even states the whale every on finds hate speech as, “deplorable, and no reasonable person would ever indulge in any form of it” (Lakoff 313). She points out repeatedly that hate speech is a form of racism. Social standing is also important as to whether or not people think that hate speech and racism still exist and are a problem according to Lakoff, but she goes on to state that no one can really define speech. Language is, thought mad observable” (Lakoff 314). but how are you to manage and punish that? who is to determine what you can and cant say?
Language is, “sensitive to context” (Lakoff 315), and therefore how are we to determine what is and is not appropriate to punish? Ultimately she says that once we stop giving words the power to change the world then they wont. While Lakoff herself focuses on the regulations of free speech, Machiko Kakutani takes different approach. Talking about the need for political correctness in her article “the Word Police”, Kakutani admits to needing politically correct language in order to eliminate sexism and racism, “ut the methods and fervor of the self-appointed language police.. open] the movement to the scorn of conservative opponents and the mockery of cartoonists and late night television hosts” (Kakutani 329).
She goes on to talk about other types of racism and how the author Ms. Maggio talks about how in everyday language the word black is used derogatorily and it should be replaces with synonyms, words such as “ostracize” for “blackball”, and “payola” for “blackmail”, and “outcast” for “black sheep”.
He bemoans the “Orwellian willingness to warp the meaning of words by placing them under a high powered idealogical lense” (Kakutani 331). He examine everything with a sarcastic tone of how while it is important, politically correct language also is diminishing itself because of too many regulations. Both writers talk a great deal about politically correct language. Lakoff thinks that racism is rooted in the use of hate speech, but that when the nation stops getting offended by the use of words then the society can enjoy a more forgiving first amendment.
Kakutani would agree as she states the universities becoming stricter with politically correct language and taking the words queer and the “n” word away from the gays and black communities who want to take it out of the hands of the racist and making them their own. The tone of Kakutani is one that is seeming fed up and it translates to a similar frustration with the audience that is also frustrated with the fear of offending someone by unintentionally saying something they thought was fine like “poor” instead of “financially challenged”.
She exasperatedly writes that politically correct language doesn’t help people, it doesn’t give the homeless a place to live, or the help the poor pay the bills, intact the only thing it does do is, “make it easier to shrug off the seriousness of their situation” (Kakutani 331). The arguments made by Kakutani and Lakoff are both opinionated and strong willed about politically correct language. Lakoff talks about the claims colleges make about how hate speech is on the rise. She even questions as to whether or not it might be a good thing.
Maybe it means that minorities are getting heard more often now, or that people feel safe enough to complain about hate speech. Both authors use logos in their papers, however Lakoff is more persuasive because she uses more outside research to prove her point. Kakutani uses outside research like ms. Maggio’s books and it does help when she tries to convey her point to the general audience, however when Lakoff writes her article, “Hate Speech” she makes the reader feel like she did her research on the topic because of her repeated use of different sources to get her point across.
While Lakoff is the more persuasive author due to her use of logos, the bottom line is that hate speech is a problem and these authors understand that. They have arguments that they can back up with counterarguments. The phrases, however, while, and but to name a few. They feel as though words only hurt this much because of how much power is given to these words by society.
Goshgarian, Gary. Exploring Language. 13th ed. Boston: Little, Brown, 1977. Print.
Kakutani, Michiko, “The Word Police” Exploring Language. Ed Gary Goshgarian North Eastern University: Pearson, Year 311-315 Print
Lakoff, Robin, “Hate Speech” Exploring Language. Ed Gary Goshgarian North Eastern University: Pearson, Year 311-315 Print