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Terrorism and words

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Emily LaCourse

on 25 October 2012

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Transcript of Terrorism and words

The Line of Terrorism Purpose:
To discuss the difference between terror and terrorism How Much Wallop Can a simple Word Pack? Summary:
In Geoffrey Nunberg’s essay “How Much Wallop Can a Simple Word Pack,” he talks about the words “terror” and “terrorism” and how with time the words’ meanings have changed since their origin. The word terror goes back to the time of Robespierre’s Reign of Terror, where the word was defined by Robespierre as “the exalted emotion people may feel when face to face with the absolute.” It was also described as “the urge that draws people to the violent certainties of totalitarianism.” As you can see that is not what the word means today. The most common definition now is intense or overwhelming fear, but the word “terror” also has many other connotations, such as a person or animal being a “terror.” Other words, like the word stupid, have broadened their range of definitions too. It use to just refer to being unintelligent, but now it has a whole host of meanings; irritatingly silly or time-wasting, foolish, lack of meaning or sense, tediously dull, and in a state of stupor, just to name a few. FBI Foils Attempted Terrorist Attack to Blow Up NY Fed Building Federal law enforcement officials foiled an attempted terrorist attack by a Bangladeshi national on Wednesday to blow up the New York Federal Reserve building in Lower Manhattan with what the man believed was a 1,000-pound bomb. Terror plotting: bravado or sincerity? The man seized for allegedly trying to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in New York wanted to "destroy America" and said al Qaeda inspired him. When the FBI got wind of his plans, they brought him down in a sting. The War of Words: A Dispatch from the Front Lines Summary:
In this essay, Okrent discusses how words are used, in what context and by who and also what words are avioded, when and by who. He starts out by discussing the words terror and terrorism and how the Times rarely uses these words because they’re “loaded words”. He also introduces a paragraph with terms wuch as “Pro- Israeli” and “Pro-Palestinian” and “targeted assassinations”, that describe the Isreal- Palestine conflict. By using these words and avoiding the more blatant terms, the Times assigns blame to no one while leaving the reader wondering who is to blame and what is happening. Throughout his essay he gives a multitude of examples of words that are often used interchangeably but can mean entirely different things to different groups of people or in some cases mean nothing at all. He also points out how publications, such as the Times, avoid “bias” words and make them almost meaningless. Purpose:
To identify how we associate words and how publications try to avoid them to be politically correct. Illinois man faces terrorism charge in Oklahoma bomb plot An Illinois man faces terrorism charges in Oklahoma where police say he was assembling Molotov cocktails as part of a plot to blow up dozens of churches. Man arrested in plot to blow up 48 churches in Oklahoma Authorities in Oklahoma have arrested and charged a 23-year-old man who they say planned to blow up 48 area churches. Works Cited:

Babwin, Don. "Police Say Illinois Man Planned to Destroy Dozens of Oklahoma Churches with Molotov Cocktails." Fox News. FOX News Network, 08 Oct. 2012. Web. 18 Oct. 2012. <http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/10/08/police-say-illinois-man-planned-to-destroy-dozens-oklahoma-churches-with/>.

Egan, Matt. "FBI Foils Attempted Terrorist Attack to Blow Up NY Fed Building." Fox Business. Fox News, 17 Oct. 2012. Web. 18 Oct. 2012. <http://www.foxbusiness.com/government/2012/10/17/man-attempts-to-blow-up-ny-fed-building-suspect-in-custody/>.

Sterling, Joe. "Terror Plotting: Bravado or Sincerity?" CNN News. CNN, 18 Oct. 2012. Web. 18 Oct. 2012. <http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/18/justice/new-york-federal-reserve-plot/index.html?iref=allsearch>.

Leonard, Brittney. "Brittany's Blog." Brittany's Blog. Wordpress.com, 12 Mar. 2011. Web. 24 Oct. 2012. <http://britleonard.wordpress.com/>. Prompt: Find an article related to terrorism or terrorist activities in two different newspapers, preferably two with different styles and even politics. write an analysis of their use of language. What do you think when you see "terrorism" and "terrorist" on the front cover of a magazine?

Does the media distort our perception of terrorism?

What other terms have evolved over time to mean something else?
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