Thursday, June 19, 2014

Straight talk: an example (23) – Carey Roberts

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) (more samples here) that besets us every day, so we won’t unconsciously imitate evasive diction.

Winston Churchill used straight talk and advised other writers to do the same: “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack!”

An example of straight talk

Carey Roberts (pictured) is one writer who seems to agree with Churchill’s advice. In a book review published on, Mr. Roberts begins like this:
“There is no better example of how radical feminism hoodwinks women than the gender ‘wage gap’ controversy.
“For years, the Gender Warriors have been on the war path over this issue. Their argument is simple: On average, female employees receive 76 cents for every one dollar paid to male workers. And that difference equals discrimination.
“It’s time to blow the whistle on that nonsense. And a just-released book by Warren Farrell does exactly that. Why Men Earn More is chock-full of government wage data and research findings which show the feminist-driven ‘pay gap’ is an ideological con-job.
“I feel a little silly making such an obvious statement, but I guess it needs to be said: the work patterns of men and women are different.” (Source)

Using terms like hoodwinks, blow the whistle, nonsense, and con-job, Mr. Roberts leaves little doubt where he is headed in this book review.

But he hasn’t yet turned off his pile driver. Before he finishes the book review, he uses dishonest, shrill, bombshell and tsunami.

Please note: As always on this blog, I am analyzing diction, not ideas. My intent is to show you Mr. Roberts’ straightforward diction, not to comment on the strength or weakness of his argument.

The Takeaway: We are often startled by straight talk. We react this way because we have become habituated to evasive, pussyfooting diction. I advise you to occasionally read, listen to, or view some straight talk. It will help you become less likely to passively absorb and unconsciously imitate evasive diction.

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