Value neutral language drains meaning from discourse

 psychologist at a dinner party which I attended recently spoke about his “client in the community”. Two lies in four words: I suppose this was concision of a kind!

His “client” was a madman known to wield knives in a state of psychosis, a potential murderer who was under compulsory supervision and was plied with medication whether he wanted it or not (mostly not). 

He was a client in the same way that I am a “customer” of His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs — and which, indeed, sometimes addresses me in circulars as such, rather as does a travel agency that hasn’t noticed yet that I last availed myself of its services about 15 years ago.

Continue reading the entire piece here at The Critic


Theodore Dalrymple is a contributing editor of City Journal and a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

This piece originally appeared in The Critic