Choosing the Right Words

Here we are. In an era where I feel compelled to speak out when I really don’t want to, and that’s a rarity for a writer. But the thing is, if you say something I know to be patently false, should I let it pass? Should I let that wrong thing, possibly a lie, hang out there in the atmosphere?

And while I don’t know if it’s a lie—that implies that you intended to deceive—I feel I must call you on it. Are you deliberately lying? Trying to mislead? Or are you ignorant? You don’t know what you’re saying is untrue. Either way, for a person who avoids conflict like polyester pant suits, I don't want to make that unhappy choice. I don’t want to speak up, so please don’t make me.

But that irritating little inner voice says, “Mer, it’s your duty. Words are important. Truth is important. Framing the issue properly is important.”


I don’t want to, but you see what you make me do? It’s NOT that I have a conduit to truths everywhere all the time. I know I make mistakes and I’d like to say I want to be corrected, but not always. Not really. Although I do want to know the truth eventually. When you point out I’m wrong, I’ll try to take it with good grace as long as I’m not too embarrassed.

So now I feel compelled to say what I know is true in this crazy time when the truth seems so elusive. Recently, at a dinner party, a friend said Bernie Sanders was a communist. I sighed. But I had to say Bernie is not a communist. And really, the dinner was ruined for me. And I s’pose other people would say I ruined it for them. But I could not remain silent, and even though I thought I politely, but firmly, objected, unhappy words were exchanged.

Here's the thing. A communist is not a socialist. And a socialist is not a democratic socialist, which is what Bernie Sanders says he is. These words are important. Choosing the correct words is important.

That’s what this blog is all about. Choosing the right words.