WORDS ABOUT WORDS
He must also be on his guard against the old words, for the words persist when the reality that lay behind them has changed. It is inherent in our intellectual activity that we seek to imprison reality in our description of it. Soon, long before we realize it, it is we who become the prisoners of the description. From that point on, our ideas degenerate into a kind of folklore which we pass to each other, fondly thinking we are still talking of the reality around us.
Aneurin Bevan, Welsh statesman, In Place of Fear (talking about the student of politics), 1952
Posted on August 31, 1999 at 6:07 PM