Decoding the Language of War
Pietro De Perini - Università degli Studi di Padova - [2002-03]
By the expression language of war, more than one definition is included. The distinction between these definitions depends on different points of view. For many frontline reporters and for humanitarian associations, the language of war is violence, death, poverty and all the effects caused by a conflict. Another less figurative definition of language of war comes from experts in political science and journalism. It means the usage of language as a weapon of mass deception created by politicians, military and heads of power in general (these kinds of language-tricks are used either in war or in peace). Very similar but still different is the third and most important definition; for language scholars the language of war is a sub-division of language that includes all those terms, expressions, initials, acronyms, euphemisms and names coined during a war, which have entered the common language. Usually they originate from military and political sources. Since the interest of the thesis is, above all, in language, the expression language of war is generally used in its third definition. In some Chapters (1, 3) both political and linguistic meanings of language of war are analyzed. The first definition, which is never really taken into consideration inside the work, is always respected for its sad meaning.
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