Consider the following article title from the BBC, “Tragic Optimism’: The Antidote to Toxic Positivity.” The article discusses coping during COVID, which is trying in the extreme with a pandemic issued for a viral infection with a survivability rate of 98.8%. With governments across the globe stretching their powers to an almighty height with no logic, the BBC just had to plasticize and spread a little more tyranny.
To the BBC, toxic positivity is a recurring theme, as one of the “Best of 2019” was “How Positive Thinking is Harming Your Happiness.” If the BBC is your news source, I must ask, do you feel the BBC is trying to keep you depressed? The BBC’s Allie Volpe, who authored Tragic Optimism as an antidote for toxic positivity, really stretched to tie these plastic terms to Victor Frankl. Frankly, I am unsure how the BBC can put up with such foolishness unless they practice modular language tyranny by insisting that being positive and optimistic is toxic and tragic.
When fighting modular language tyranny, we must have a full and complete understanding of the definitions of the terms plasticized. Positivity is mainly defined as a practice of being, or an innate tendency, to be positive or optimistic in attitude. Optimism, understood as a general term, is understood as practicing hopefulness and confidence about the future or a successful outcome. The dictionary has no entries for “tragic optimism” or “toxic positivity.” Hence, the only conclusion is to consider the BBC as practicing tyranny through modular language, or stretching words to meet a political agenda, purposefully causing chaos, and attempting to control people through the misunderstanding of words and language!
In searching less reputable sources online for toxic positivity, I find myself shaking my head and laughing hysterically at the mindset of those who would support thinking positively is toxic. Would one of the modular language tyrants please explain how a person who chooses to look on the positive side of life can be toxic? Would one of the modular language tyrants please explain how optimism can be “tragic?”
Previously I have recommended Uwe Poerksen’s book, “Plastic Words: The Tyranny of Modular Language.” I keep hoping this book will soon be available on digital devices, for I promise the book is worth the time to read. I bought my copy before the hardback version went to $150+ US Dollars. Still, if you can find a copy of this book, it is highly recommended for it shows precisely how those who consider themselves influencers of culture have adopted language tyranny to control populations. I was not facetious when I asked if the BBC’s audience is expected to be depressed, someone must ask the BBC why they think they can control optimism and positivity in their audience.
One of the most challenging parts of my doctoral degree has been the proliferation of “operational definitions” researchers adopt, which is nothing more than the plasticization of words to fit the researchers’ bias. The BBC’s articles quote researchers, who have drunk their own Kool-Aid, and gotten high off the power of authoritarian thought and the policing of the emotions of an audience. Repeatedly, I have gone to research documents from peer-reviewed resources and found the language used so deplorable that I cannot consider that source reputable, usable, or even worthy of my time. Yet, too often, I have been forced to use materials academically that I would never consider using professionally. The problem always arises from how a researcher plasticizes (operationally defines) a term to fit the researcher’s intentions just as the BBC has done to try and make optimism and positivity wrong and demean people who choose to be optimistic or positive their emotional choices.
Fighting tyrannical modular language, or the plastic word games people play to control an audience, I suggest the following:
- Question terms used that make no sense—demand logical answers.
- Know words and definitions; if unsure, ask SIRI, look the terms up in multiple dictionaries, but don’t rely upon one source for a definition.
- When in doubt, practice #2, then #1 until you are less confused. I have found those working to plasticize words cannot stand scrutiny.
- Sunshine disinfectant works when tyranny is found; put the tyrant in the sunshine and watch them become a vampire!
A “Liberty FIRST Culture” will not allow words to become plastic to the ruination of all!
© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
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