Quotations about   label

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Under normal circumstances, the name a human being bears is no more than the band is to a cigar: a means of identification, a superficial, almost unimportant thing that is only loosely related to the real subject, the true ego. In the event of a success the name begins to swell, so to say. It loosens itself from the human being that bears it and becomes a power in itself, a force, an independent thing, an article of commerce, a capital asset; and psychologically again with strong reaction it becomes a force which tends to influence, to dominate, to transform the person who bears it.

Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist, biographer
The World of Yesterday [Die Welt von Gestern], ch. 13 (1942)
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Added on 17-Jun-21 | Last updated 22-Jun-21
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To a linguist, the phenomenon is familiar: the euphemism treadmill. People invent new “polite” words to refer to emotionally laden or distasteful things, but the euphemism becomes tainted by association and the new one that must be found acquires its own negative connotations. “Water closet” becomes “toilet” (originally a term for any body care, as in “toilet kit”), which becomes “bathroom,” which becomes “rest room,” which becomes “lavatory.” “Garbage collection” turns into “sanitation,” which turns into “environmental services.” The euphemism treadmill shows that concepts, not words, are in charge. Give a concept a new name, and the name becomes colored by the concept; the concept does not become freshened by the name. (We will know we have achieved equality and mutual respect when names for minorities stay put.)

Steven Pinker (b. 1954) Canadian-American cognitive psychologist, linguist, author
“The Game of the Name,” New York Times (5 Apr 1994)
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Added on 2-Jun-21 | Last updated 2-Jun-21
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I myself have never been able to find out what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.

Rebecca West (1892-1983) British author, journalist, literary critic, travel writer [pseud. for Cicily Isabel Fairfield]
“Mr. Chesterton in Hysterics,” The Clarion (14 Nov 1913)
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Added on 22-Feb-21 | Last updated 22-Feb-21
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The American People will take Socialism, but they won’t take the label. I certainly proved it in the case of EPIC. Running on the Socialist ticket I got 60,000 votes, and running on the slogan to “End Poverty in California” I got 879,000. I think we simply have to recognize the fact that our enemies have succeeded in spreading the Big Lie. There is no use attacking it by a front attack, it is much better to out-flank them.

Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) American writer, journalist, activist, politician
Letter to Norman Thomas (25 Sep 1951)
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Added on 30-Jul-20 | Last updated 30-Jul-20
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Categories, if you’ll excuse a brief digression, are a useful way to get a handle on things you don’t understand, as long as you don’t get too attached to them and forget that things like to pop out of one category and into another, and that sometimes the whole category turns itself inside out and becomes something different. It’s useful, for example, to categorize your target as a sorcerer, if he is one; but if you get too attached to your category it’ll leave you embarrassed when he suddenly pulls a knife on you.

Steven Brust (b. 1955) American writer, systems programmer
Issola (2001)
Added on 26-Aug-16 | Last updated 26-Aug-16
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The democracy is a ready victim to shibboleths and catchwords, as all demagogues know too well.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)
Added on 16-Nov-15 | Last updated 4-Jan-16
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     More to the point, nameless hideous monsters are freaking terrifying. You always fear what you don’t know, what you don’t understand, and the first step to having understanding of something is to know what to call it. It’s a habit of mine to give names to anything I wind up interacting with if it doesn’t have one readily available. Names have power — magically, sure, but far more important, they have psychological power. Something horrible with a name holds less power over you, less terror, than something horrible without one.
     “Octokongs,” I pronounced grimly. “Why did it have to be octokongs?”

Jim Butcher (b. 1971) American author
Skin Game (2014)
Added on 16-Nov-15 | Last updated 16-Nov-15
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KIRSTEN: Do you figure his parents just assumed he’d grow up to be evil when they named him “Zebediah Killgrave”?

MATT: Yeah, we call that the “Victor Von Doom” Paradox.

Mark Waid (b. 1962) American comic book writer, editor
Daredevil, Vol. 4, #10 (Nov 2014)
Added on 27-Apr-15 | Last updated 27-Apr-15
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