DQ raise very important points about the power of language. The examples of “austerity” and “stimulus” certainly need to be addressed. But, let me address another problematic term: “government spending”. Far too many people seem to equate government spending (syn. taxes, benefits, welfare, rebates, investments, stimuli, grants, outlays, funding, etc.) with “free” money.
All these terms that reference government spending also generate warm fuzzies with large portions of the population that cannot or will not equate such activities with government expropriation of the labor, sweat, money and intellectual capital of “other” people without their express permission.
Thus, I would like to propose a new word, “opuem”, an acronym for “Other People’s Unfairly Expropriated Money”.
It’s a far more efficient use of language to distill so many different terms into a single, comprehensive concept and thereby change the nature of public discourse in very positive, enlightening ways, as for example:
“The Democrat Congress, with the support of the President, voted to drastically increase opuem for dispersal to favored but potentially restless constituencies in order to keep them quiet, loyal and dependent. The Republican opposition voiced its concerns that there is far too much demand for opuem by society today, and that excessive opuem dependency will prove detrimental to economic productivity and societal well-being.”
This term, opuem, should not to be confused with a similar term, “hopium”, conceived by Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass as a descriptor for current White House emanations.