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The words we use matter

Michael Gorga GORGA at BoysTown.ORG
Wed Nov 20 10:13:04 EST 1996

There have been a number of recent postings that have
crossed the line of civility.  There have been recent references
to a colleague as "an idiot", suggestions that his efforts to
moderate the listserver by eliminating the many get-rich-quick
schemes that have recently appeared are akin to "nazi" behaviors,
and a statement that anyone interested in having money making
scams eliminated from the list of postings (after all, this is an
audiology forum!) is a "moron".  Can someone tell me how
referring to a colleague in this manner can be construed as a
thoughtful, reasoned, intelligent exchange on important issues to
the profession.  A privilege of living in a free society is that
anyone can say whatever it is they please.   That does not make
offensive language any less offensive.  As a strong believer in
freedom of speech, I will defend your right to say what you like,
using whatever words you choose.  And I am sure that others will
tolerate your comments; reasonable people, however, will weigh
them accordingly.

I beleive that this recent dialogue was triggered by a posting
about the legality of buying the title, "doctor".  In spite of
the unfortunate direction that this debate has taken, the issue
of entitlement remains important.  In my opoinion, it is
inconcievable that anyone could view as acceptable paying $750.00
for a title.  However, I am willing to listen to the arguments.
Tell me how this serves the long term health of audiology, how
such an approach will be viewed by constituents including third
party payors and colleagues in other disciplines, and (most
importantly) how this better serves the public.  It is my opinion
(in free society, I am entitled to my opinion too) buying a title
is a threat to the existence of audiology as a profession, will
be considered by our colleagues as a scam in which we attempt to
get something for nothing, and will mislead the public into
thinking that the person providing services has a credential that
in fact they did not earn.  Hey, but I could be wrong.  These are
only my opinions.  I am willing to listen to others argue a
different point of view.  And I promise I will not refer to
anyone as an idiot, moron or nazi, just because their views
differ from mine.

Michael Gorga

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