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Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Unperceived Ideol. Transship. and Dial.

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C. A Talismanic Word

 

At this initial position, in which the patient is at the mercy of his one‑sided state of mind and already prepared for the psychological action that he is about to undergo, the use of a well‑chosen word can produce surprising effects. This word is the talismanic word.

This is a word whose legitimate meaning is congenial and, at times, even noble; but it is also a word that has some elasticity. When it is used tendentiously, it begins to shine with a new radiance, fascinating the patient and taking him much farther than he could have imagined.

Twisted out of shape and distorted, wholesome and even dignified words have been used to label a number of mistakes, errors and blunders. We could even say that the effects of this technique are more harmful when the word being abused is more elevated and dignified ‑ "corruptio optimi pessima." Some words with a dignified connotation that have been transformed into deceitful talismans and placed at the service of error are: social justice, ecumenism, dialogue, peace, irenicism, and coexistence.

 




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