We writers need to read a little straight talk now and then. By contrast, it makes us more aware of the evasive diction (sample here) that besets us every day, so we won’t unconsciously imitate evasive diction.
An example of straight talk
From the Wikipedia article on Buck v. Bell:
Buck v. Bell 274 U.S. 200 (1927), is a decision of the United States Supreme Court ... in which the Court ruled that a state statute permitting compulsory sterilization of the unfit, including the mentally retarded, “for the protection and health of the state” did not violate the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.The Takeaway: We are often startled by straight talk. We react this way because we have become habituated to evasive, pussyfooting, sniveling diction (more samples here). I advise you to occasionally read, listen to, or view some straight talk. It doesn’t matter whether you agree or disagree with the statements – what matters is the way the statements are expressed. A little dose of straight talk helps you become less likely to passively absorb and unconsciously imitate evasive diction.
The ruling was written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. In support of his argument that the interest of the states in a “pure” gene pool outweighed the interest of individuals in their bodily integrity, he argued:
We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. (Links in original article have been omitted here.)
An historical oddity: Even though Buck v. Bell sounds grotesque today, the Supreme Court has never expressly overruled it.