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What is loaded language, and how can we make best use of it?



I came across an entry at the place called "Rational Wiki." The biases of the wiki are evidently left-wing, if not progressive, if not evul. Ostensibly ...


Our purpose here at RationalWiki includes:

  1. Analyzing and refuting pseudoscience and the anti-science movement;
  2. Documenting the full range of crank ideas;
  3. Explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism;
  4. Analysis and criticism of how these subjects are handled in the media.

We welcome contributors, and encourage those who disagree with us to register and engage in constructive dialogue.

Here's the loaded language page header (click through).  One of the more fraught uses of 'prejudicial language' is identified as "snarl words."  Isn't using 'snarl words' part of the fun of online discussion?


-- surveying the Wiki site's entries, it made me think of a kind of weight in Ayn Rand's language in both fiction and non-fiction. Is there anything objectively wrong with using heavily-laden emotive words in argument? Doesn't using so-called loaded language offer a short-cut or end-point of a long line of reasoning?

Why not 'snarl' at ideological 'enemies'?


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This is a good identification.  It seems that a snarl word would have a connotation/denotation difference, or can perhaps become 'fuzzy'.

Rand did seem to 'snarl' at enemies, and perhaps that's one reason why her enemies despised her so much.

Is it okay to use them?  I'd just say to not lose sight of the denotative meaning, not lose sight of essences.  And for whatever/whoever the term is being applied to, to keep objectivity in mind, that the term actually fits.  This goes back to what Rand says about language, that it's primary function is for cognition, not communication.

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