Loaded Words and Misinformation

angry woman yelling into a megaphone

Words matter and there is a direct link between loaded words and misinformation. 

Language is the only tool humans have to exchange ideas and feelings. Language is the only way humans can explore each other’s minds. And words are the weapon of choice for the con artist and the more interesting fraudster. 

I won’t spend too much time on this today, as it seems obscenely obvious to a Devil like me. Instead, I’ll give you an example of how the relation between style and substance might be absolute. 

Consider as you read this how the people trying to influence your beliefs use their language to appeal to the less critical parts of you. Do your best to pay attention to their use of loaded words and phrases to elicit the emotions they know will push you into accepting a lie. Notice how they point you to specific emotional states to make you take their misinformation. 

Fear, love, desire are potent motivators. 

“They have a “magnetic” effect, an imperative force, a tendency to influence the interlocutor’s decisions. They are strictly bound to moral values leading to value judgments and potentially triggering specific emotions. For this reason, they have an emotive dimension. In the modern psychological terminology, we can say that these terms carry “emotional valence”, as they presuppose and generate a value judgment that can lead to an emotion.”

— Macagno, Fabrizio; Walton, Douglas (2014). Emotive Language in Argumentation. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Loaded Words and Misinformation

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The Example

From the Diary of Peyton Dracco

Wednesday, February 28 of 2018, 29 minutes past 8:00

Bergler’s syndrome! Orwell would say it was too big for me, that it fell apart into fragments. HUBRIS! For him to assume that he knew anything about composition. What would Fitzgerald and Schultz opine about my predicament: about my suffering?

And I’ve been here before; I have overcome the impossible ennui of the burden of obligation.

Though heavy on my sense of liberty, the substance of this feeling of servitude is evanescent, ephemeral in its power over my desires, and will eventually dissipate and give way to the freedom my soul so fervently craves.

And that, brothers and sisters, is how one dramatises a first world problem. Ha Ha! It reads powerfully, does it not? It comes across as meaningful. 

All it says is…


Because words matter and access an exceptional and specialised part of our brain, it is easy to fall prey to their proper use. Take time to appreciate language and the power it gives you.


PS: I don’t have a soul, and luckily, you don’t either. 

— The Devil Unbound

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