When I mention “misuse of language”, here’s what I’m thinking of.
Like saying you’re fighting for freedom, when really your goal is to be the one in charge.
Or saying that you’re not a capitalist when really, yeah, you hate being poor in a capitalist society, but the construct of the society is OK with you. Not all poor people dream of being rich. Some people really don’t give a fuck about money further than they absolutely have to. And as that income gap gets wider, muhfuckas are coming up with LOADS of ways to get the things they need. Money’s about to be obsolete.
This Busta Rhymes record, “Extinction Level Event”, has a post-apocalyptic interlude that describes the end of days as a time when “brother will kill brother over a grain of undercooked rice”. But maybe brother won’t kill brother over a grain of rice. Maybe brother and brother come and get YOUR fucking rice. Together. Come back and feed sister and sister and they come and get YOUR truck. Together. Come back with squad and get YOUR—you understand.
I’m just saying, there are more options than just the boxes they had us check ourselves into (but we can’t check out, ha!) as kids. And the way we use language is a way to exercise those options. The dregs ain’t the only ones dwelling at the “bottom” of society, shawty. It’s roots down here, too. And we EATIN’.
Matter-of-fact, that’s how you check and balance the way you use your words! Just see if the things you repeatedly say—the stuff you constantly think and put into the atmosphere—are rooted in truth. DO you hate capitalism? Or do you just hate being poor? ARE you fighting for people to be free? Or are you fighting to be in command? Righteous language use is about communicating your true thoughts/feelings/intentions. But wait, ‘cause you know what? Righteousness ain’t the only option.
I almost forgot that you can knowingly and strategically place words in positions that are in direct opposition of the truth. There are entire occupations based on it! You can be a politician, a lawyer, a pimp, or a preacher. Success in those positions is (damn near) SOLELY based on the mastering of language.
The important thing about using language is not how many words are in your vocabulary, how silky-smooth the sentences you construct are, or how they waft through the minds of your readers and listeners. It’s about what you do with the attention you’ve commanded. It’s about where the words lead when followed.
**Don’t speak in lies. It’s the new don’t drink and drive.**
Love & Water,