Yes, I'm an English major and definitely a die-hard word-nerd, but this morning I stopped in mid-spoonful while eating breakfast because of a news story.
I don't remember if I was watching CNN or MSNBC, but the reporter and two commentators, representing both sides of the issue, were discussing a trial and the judge's controversial ruling that words like 'rape', 'victim', and 'sexual assault' are not to be used in his courtroom because of the connotations tied to words like these. Apparently, not even the victim - I'm sorry, accuser - is allowed to use these words to describe what happened to her, which I think is absolutely ridiculous. To ban the accuser from using these words forces her to describe what happened to her as 'sex', which, as the writer of the linked article writes, has connotations as well. 'Sex' implies that what occurred was consensual, and to force someone who has been victimized - allegedly or otherwise - perpetuates the whole idea of "false reporting", the idea that women are liars. So often the media focuses on so-called incidences of false reporting when in all actuality, something like 96% of sexual assaults reported were legitimate. Yet another way that society at large victimizes women - by telling the masses that raped women aren't to be believed. It makes me absolutely sick.
The judge's decision does nothing but feed into that. Does the guy deserve a fair trial? Of course, everyone does.
But doesn't the accuser deserve to be able to use the words she feels are necessary in order to get her side of the story out there? Doesn't she deserve fairness in this trial too?