I once read, “Writing not only illuminates the reader, it illuminates the author.”
The choice of words certainly illuminates the author. Today I heard a commentator on the radio say, “The NFL players should use their privilege to …”
Hold on! First, that word not only has a defined meaning – if you look it up it’s described as:
a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.
And the synonyms are even more illuminating:
advantage, entitlement, right, benefit
But it currently has probably more power than it should – being used as a slur, a derogatory term, or an insult. “White Privilege.”
I was stopped in my tracks when the commentator used that term. So offputting that I did not listen to the next three or four sentences. And, I was happy to ignore this person’s “upspeak” and “vocal fry” to try and stay focused to hear what was being said about the “#takeaknee issue. But could not.
A word misused like this can derail a sentence, a message and possibly even a speech someone is giving. Words are that important!
When you are writing for the spoken word it is very different than writing for the written word. Another issue is if you are “winging it” as in not “on script” the misuse of words can be fatal.
I bet the right word, in this case, was something like – celebrity, or prominence, or being in the public eye? Maybe it was meant as a slur?
No athlete I know of was granted the right to play their chosen sport – especially at professional levels. They all worked extremely hard and long to get to these elevated ranks.
Unlike the Washington commentator who yet again proves we are dead in the middle of the Era of the Amateur.