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George Carlin's power of words

A lot of people are mourning the death of Tim Russert. Me, I spent a hour last night watching YouTube clips of George Carlin, who spoke more truth to power than any beltway pundit.

I found one clip of particular relevance to my job as a journalist, a funny rant on how language has been "softened" to obfuscate its meaning. Carlin starts out by musing about how "toilet paper" has become "bathroom tissue," and takes off from there.

It's all around us. For example, there's a brief in The News this morning about a power "outage" at Waterfront School. Used to be called a power "failure. Still is, when I'm doing the writing.

Then there are the words of Byron Brown, who could not bring himself to say he demanded  Rich Tobe's resignation was because he was unhappy with his job performance. No, the mayor insisted, Tobe has done a "good job."

“It’s not anything that he did that was wrong. It’s that I want to see more things done,” Brown said.

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