Author: William Vaillancourt

The Deleterious Effects of Our Tabloid Discourse

The president’s habitual butchering of language is by now well documented, and the effects of his linguistic ineptitude, willful or unintentional, are corrosive. It would not be unfair to suggest that he shoulders a sizable share of the blame for the gradual dissolution of the quality of discourse in the public sphere. But in this vice he can find a partner just as guilty. Digital news platforms and the social media feeds that help them thrive have become increasingly bold in the strategies they employ to capture viewers’ interest. This has, however, resulted in a sustained assault on the integrity of language. A strikingly careless habit to fall into on the part of those who participate in the mass distribution of information, its consequences are severe. Chief among them is how the use of words at inappropriate times diminishes their meaning – an abuse so significant that its contributions to the unhealthy, noise-riddled online milieu that we experience each day must not be ignored. To truly grasp the wicked nature of this practice, we must …