By: Taylor Rodney and Bryce Sigmon

Knowledge Issue

To what extent do emotionally-laden language, weasel words, grammar, and revealing/concealing affect the meaning of language?

Emotionally-Laden Language

EXAMPLE: "He is the devil." -The example shows how emotion can be put into language. By calling a person the devil, it implies that the speaker loathes the person being spoken about. Particularly, the word devil has a negative aura about it.

Weasel Words

EXAMPLE: "I can do the majority of the project if you provide input."-The word "if" acts as the weasel word in the example sentence. The speaker at the beginning of the sentence states that he/she will do the majority of the project, but "if" adds a catch to the sentence. The "if" makes it unclear on how much input will be needed from his/her partner.




EXAMPLE: "The test was taken dishonestly by many students." vs. "Many students cheated on the test."-The first sentece uses passive voice, so the subject is not taking the blame. Dishonest and cheated are synonyms, but dishonest has a less harsh connotation. The second sentence contains more truth and validity than the first.


"A rare glimpse of a 'gigantic jet' — a huge and mysterious burst of lightning that connects a thunderstorm with the upper atmosphere — was made over China in 2010 and was recently described by scientists."

Revealing and Concealing

Example: "My best friend is artsy." "My best friend is outgoing." "My best friend is a homosexual."-The example sentences describe the same best friend, but the speaker is introducing him to different people. To another artist, he introduces his friend as artsy; to an extravert, outgoing; to amother homosexual, gay.