As a writer and then an attorney, I’ve learned the power of words.
If I want you to think someone is smart, I’ll call a change in opinion a “tactical shift.”
If I want you to think someone is stupid, I’ll call it a “flip-flop.”
As an attorney and writer, it’s my job to pick the words that are best suited for painting the picture I wish for the reader to see.
Not so if I were a journalist. As a journalist, my job is to impart an objective and neutral report and so it’s possible that neither “tactical shift” nor “flip-flop” would be appropriate in a news story. A “change of opinion”, however, would certainly describe the same kind of action in a neutral and objective way.
Just some thoughts for you this Thursday on the power of words.