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Mentalspeak

Caterina Fake's blog is both infrequently updated, and always delightful. The result is that Christmas morning comes twice a month for her readers.

Today she notes psychologist Lyn Cowan's rejection of what Cowan calls "mentalspeak". Snipped from Caterina:

Consider the mentalspeak word "issue". "Issue" is an all-purpose word that has replaced several other words, such as dilemma, conflict, quandary, confusion, mess. What did people have before they had issues? How did we talk to each other about our blind confusions, our heart-stopping fears, sweet hopes, crippling loses and hot-blooded enthusiasms before we started calling everything an "issue"? I saw an advertisement in one of my local newspapers a few weeks ago offering counseling for "grief issues". What if I only had the grief, and not the issue?

Such language purports to deepen our understanding of ourselves and each other, but its real value to us is as a moat to keep our emotions at a safe distance. We cannot express the depth of what we feel, and so we can pretend we do not feel it so deeply.

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