Name Calling

Name calling is a tactic of verbal abuse or manipulation that can appear anywhere in society (and across a spectrum) from children's playground bullying to sophisticated propaganda techniques that are used in business and politics. It is consciously used by rhetoricians (individuals who are skilled in the use of language as a tool) to promote a cognitive bias( either pro or con) about people, products, or ideas. We are all familiar with commercial advertising and those advertisers' penchants for promoting their own products while disparaging their competitors. We are also well aware of politicians (particularly in election years) who speak negatively about their opponents' alleged shortcomings and failures while promoting their own agendas. In other walks of life such as journalism, history, political science, law, etc. name calling (in the form of propaganda) exists as "spin," the careful use of words to obfuscate the truth and shape opinions.

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