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Monday, November 20, 2006

"Hey, mom, I'm food insecure''

Punch in the key words "U.S. Department of Agriculture'' and "hunger'' into a search engine and up pops an overview from the USDA's Economic Research Service called "Food Security in the United States.'' Not hunger, but food security. It's defined as "access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life.'' All of us paid someone to come up with that definition and maybe even the term itself.

It was alarming to read that 11 percent of us were considered food insecure last year. Not hungry, but food insecure. Having spent a career in the communications business, I find this gobbledygook devised by bureaucrats pretty alarming, too. A seminar leader once referred to it as "excessive elegance.'' You know, media center (for library), medical center (hospital), bank customer service representative (teller), sanitary engineer (garbage collector), on and on.

It's clear the U.S. should declare war on people not having enough food to eat. But we should call it what it is: hunger. It's a powerful term that communicates. And isn't that what we should demand of all words?


Blogger margaret said...

Food security? That's a good one. The phrase truly cloaks the reality. When I read it, it made me feel like it wasn't really an emergency of any sort. Yet, "hunger" hits you right in the gut, like it's supposed to. I am so sick of politically correct or engineered wording. It diminishes us as a people. Who are these people who got hold of the English language and decided to dilute it to the point of ineffectiveness?

8:48 AM, November 21, 2006  

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