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Words Have Meaning

Note to pretentious media types: “iniquities” are not the same as “inequities“.

I’ve noticed a trend lately in which these words are increasingly conflated or simply used interchangeably. The former carries heavier moral and religious overtones than the latter – if you’re still pretending to be objective, “iniquities” is not the word to use given the moralizing overtone it conveys.

When Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, or the corpse of Howard Zinn rant on about the “iniquities of the corporate system”, their usage is appropriate: they believe capitalism is not merely unfair but inherently wicked to the point of actual evil. When you’re pretending to objectively discuss differences in wealth or income as a neutral party while parroting the litany of unjust consequences which you have been told and believe unavoidably pertain thereto, the proper word choice is “inequities” unless you want people to see through your phony even-handedness.

I know it’s hard when your peers start using some new word that you like the sound of to stop and look it up for yourself and learn whether it’s an appropriate word choice, or whether it really means what you and the rest of your herd think it means. But given how little respect your profession has left and how much less it actually merits, it’s something (along with proofreading and spell-checking) you really ought to consider doing so as not to needlessly cause further decline.

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