Poor Use of Language: Love is Equality

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I saw a billboard downtown that I tried to figure out what is was supposed to be advertising or promoting.  It had a reference to the below url:

loveisequality.org

When I got home and typed that into my browser, it instantly rolled to a Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/loveisequalclothing

After reading the billboard, then the Facebook page, I could find no place where it clearly stated what the site or the page was about or promoting. I can deduce with reasonable accuracy what it is promoting, but nowhere does it come out and plainly say it.

Why the lack of clear statement, why the soft use of terms?

I posit they are trying to create acceptance of an idea that they feel would not be accepted by many people if they stated it clearly, ‘in words of one or two syllables” as G.K. Chesterton would say.

Let us leave aside the question of the issue itself. What originally raised my curiosity about the billboard was the use of the word equal, and whether it was a misuse of the word or not.

The word equality has an almost cultic place in modern language. The more cultic its use and influence, usually the less specific is its definition.

Equality can mean equality of opportunity, equality of outcome, equality before the law, racial equality, gender equality. You could gather 100 people together, and find that all of them believe in equality, but further investigation would show that different sections of them believe in one form of equality listed above, but not others. Blurring the distinction in argument or discourse creates a false sense of agreement, and a false sense of truth to the point being made. You get people thinking they are agreeing to one idea, when they are actually agreeing to another.

My second thought was, where, except in current politics, has anyone ever compared love to equality? If anything it is the inequality of the lovers that is one of loves defining features. It is because they are not equal, because they are different, because they fulfill one another, that there is love.

There may be a lot of good reasons to put forward for supporting “same-sex marriage” but “love is equality” isn’t one of them. If one can build a cogent argument of “same before the law” that people will support is one thing. But the law doesn’t have anything to do with “love”. It needs to be based on other things: on justice, contracts, binding agreements.

No, this billboard, this advertising campaign, is a poor use of the English language. It is obscuring and twisting the meaning of words, leading to less clear ideas and communication. The treatment it gives the language narrows, not broadens, the possibilities of expression. It limits, not expands the horizons of people’s thoughts.

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