Character -Reply

Richard Swerdlin Swerdlin at COEFS.COE.UNT.EDU
Fri Apr 26 08:43:00 MDT 1996

Steve Laib:

    I am behind in the paperwork and E-mail, but please nore my
message a bit earlier this morning.

    The term "herd instinct" is another phrase which more
realistically applies across the political spectrum.  It reminds me a
bit of the term popularized by Freud, "neurotic".  Initially, the
term appearted in medical dictionaries.  However, the term became
oversused, so that even ordinary disagreements with other people wer
likely to generate the descriptor "neurotic".  This particular
situation was encountered in many instances, in the military service,
and also i civilian life.

    An interesting thing happened several years.  The AMA thought the
term had become more trouble than it was worth, so the term
"neurotic" was officially dropped from its medical dictionary.  Thus
even the AMA got the message finally.

    By analogy, little would be lost in American political dialog, if
certain tired words were put out to pasture, just as even fine race
horses deserve a nice retiement also.  If it is any consolation,
pen-pals in different parts of the globe say something comparable
regarding their own cultures.

Richard Swerdlin
(swerdlin at

P.S. For some reason the Tower of Babel comes to mind now and then.

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