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Cedar Rapids Gazette Newspaper Archive: April 7, 1974 - Page 9

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - April 7, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                Of MIRVs, WARVs and detente Foreign policy mumbo-jumbo By Norman Cousins rpHE TROUBLE with U. S. foreign x policy today is that it is becoming so overloaded with murky language and gobbledygook that it is losing all con- nection with the American people. Increasingly, a language gap is open- Ing up between U. S. policymakers and the average citizen. News accounts of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's recent trip to Moscow, for example, used a wide variety of terms that are hardly likely to increase public understanding of the problems Kissinger is trying to solve. As I read these news accounts, I won- dered how many people knew exactly what was meant by "a conceptual breakthrough" or "multiple warheads" or "strategic arms limitations" or "MmV" or "MARV" or "SLBM." Even the term detente, which has become the watchword of U. S.-Soviet relations, is borrowed from another language and lacks precise meaning for most Americans. What is happening is that the entire field of foreign policy is becoming the mysterious and mystifying domain of think-tank planners, computer Norman Cousins Views Ideas Intlghts Judgments Comments Opinion Page 2 specialists, war-games theoreticians and military academicians. Out of it has come a jargon as exclusive and remote as the private and specialized vocabularies found in journals for neurologists, cn- docrinologists, biochemists or subatomic physicists. The new language, of course, has been shaped by the intricate world of nuclear force, weapons delivery systems, elec- tronic surveillance and computerized technology. The new military capability interacts with international politics and ideological problems in a way that results in a special vocabulary. Even under the best of circumstances, foreign policy tends to be too distant and obscure for the average citizen. The ad- vent of computerized strategy, with lan- guage to match, converts this traditional gap into a cosmic void. This is no casual matter. The govern- ment needs the support of its citizens for its initiatives in the world. Such support is impossible without understanding. The pretentious language now being used by government officials can hardly be said to advance this understanding. Is it really so difficult to use basic English on matters concerned with na- tional security and foreign policy? Con- sider this account of Secretary Kis- singer's recent mission to Moscow: "A state department spokesman said today that Mr. Kissinger returned from Moscow without 'the conceptual breakthrough' he sought in his attempt to strengthen detente by achieving effective agreement in the strategic arms limita- tions talks, especially with reference to multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles." Here is the same account, translated into everyday English: "Secretary of State Kissinger returned from Moscow today without being able to American-Soviet relations on new high ground, as he had hoped. Mr. Kis- singer was unsuccessful in his effort to break the deadlock between the two countries over the existence of space vehicles that can carry a number of thermonuclear explosives arid drop them on different targets." Even the term detente is unnecessarily fancy. I see no reason why "improved relations" isn't just as explicit and ser- viceable as the French word. If President Nixon wants the American people to understand what lie is trying to do in the field of world peace, he would do well to get rid of pompous verbal clutter and mumbo-jumbo. Los Anoeles Times Syndicate 'Maybe old days were better' Civilization vs. mystery isles By Jenkin Lloyd Jones HUNDRED years ago the beau- tiful Miss Julia Dean of Pennsyl- vania was having an awful time on that deserted volcanic island somewhere east of Nova Scotia. Having foolishly spurned the affections of a noble young man, Charles Vollar, she fled the estate of her father to escape the leering attention of Thomas Adams "I've got pluck and I've got money, and I am going to have you, So she took passage for Liverpool on the Inman liner, City of Boston, and as everyone knew the ship vanished after leaving Halifax on Jan. 28, 1870. It wasn't until 1880, or two years after, her rescue, that Miss Dean let the world in on her amazing history. Even though delayed, the pamphlet which she published, illustrated by herself, lost nothing in drama. John Malcolm Brinnin, in his Hne book on transatlantic liners, "The Sway of the Grand recounts Miss Dean's story: The City of Boston, struck by lightning a few days out of Halifax, sinks immediately and Julia, alone on the sole surviving raft, is cast up on this unknown island. For five years she sustains her- self by gathering shellfish and trapping animals while her clothes degenerate into tatters (and here Miss Dean has some eye-popping Then one morning she is awakened by a MAN! He is bearded, wet and exhausted, but transported by her beauty. When she names her ill-fated ship he strikes his forehead. "There was one aboard that vessel that I would have laid down my life for, though she spurned my. "Spurned your I interrupted, "and great God! I see it all now, you are Charles "Merciful he shouted, "and you are no, no, it cannot be. After living in separate wickiups for several dreary months they decide to unite themselves "with no witness present save the moon just risen, and the weird music of yonder waves for our wedding which makes this about as close to a sex novel as the Victorians got. Their bliss is disturbed only by increased quakings and rumblings beneath the island. Finally they fashion a crude boat and are no sooner launched than the island gives a mighty shudder and vanishes. Fortunately, in a few days they are picked up by the schooner, Sally Briggs, and Capt. A. Downey Brease signs an affidavit, which Julia reproduces in her pamphlet, attesting to the truth of everything. Some nosy people did get around to pointing out that Miss Dean's name was inadvertently omitted from the City of Boston's passenger manifest, still on file in Halifax, and that ships' registries had somehow overlooked the Sally Briggs and Capt. Brease. This didn't prevent certain divines from thundering about the mysterious workings of Providence, nor did it alloy the excitement of variousjschoolgirls and chambermaids who thought of Julia's al fresco marriage in the moonlight and al- most swooned. What brought all this on was the fact that a few days after reading Brinnin's book I came across a high-resolution strip of photographs from a weather sa- tellite that covered the whole Atlantic from Nova Scotia to Ireland. Even the wakes of ships were clearly visible. Jenkin Lloyd Jones Way with words No deserted volcanic island, or even rock, could escape this whirling Cyclops eye, and if any land, however small, vanished it would be noted in not more than 90 minutes. The medieval bestiaries bore mar- velous pictures of men who carried their heads in their man-headed lions and the caladrius bird which, when brought to the bedside of an ill person, would turn his head one way to foretell recovery and another way to indicate he'd had it. It was a wonderful world of dragons, mermaids and, of course, mysterious islands. We know it better now. They say the military spy satellites will pick up a single automobile. If Julia's hut had ap- peared on vacant real estate it would have been duly noted, and if Charles' had eventually joined it a gunboat would have been sent to investigate. Besides, a quaking island would be crawling with seismograph crews and volcanqlogists. The shipwrecked couple might not have found a preacher, but they would have had plenty of company. Time was when we thought this familiarity would make us friends. Many philosophers guessed that the steamship, the cable telegraph, the radio and the transoceanic plane would wipe away misunderstandings and knit all people into one happy family. It didn't work out that way. Maybe the world was more fun 100 years ago when Julia Dean Voilar thought she could get away with it. General Features Corporation 'Nous1: lofty reason Insights within a wild sanctuary, an inaccessible valley of reveries. Glasgow 'By Theodore M. Bernstein A WOMAN WITH NOUS. Some women, addressing a United Nations forum the other day, voiced annoyance over what they considered to be a pa- tronizing approach by men speakers. "After said one woman representa- tive, "we have some nous." A rare colloquial word, nous means in- telligence or common sense. But it has also been a serious word in the language for centuries. Pronounced either noose or nowce, it denotes the greatest intellect or reason in the highest sense. Governmenlafese. Two characteristics of bureaucratic jargon have come up recently. One is a tendency to use euphemisms ways of getting around saying something unpleasant. When talk of gasoline rationing first arose a bill to put it into effect did not use the word rationing. The framers of the bill dodged that word and called it instead end-use allocation. Another characteristic of governmcn- talese is the piling up of nouns used as adjectives. A recent public notice of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (that's a mouthful in itself) spoke of the Ocean Disposal Permit Program. What? The government is going to dispose of the oceans? What the program aims at, of course, is the disposal of waste and sewage in the oceans. Na- turally, if that goes on long enough it may indeed dispose of the oceans, but that's another matter. Word oddities. Ever hear of safellire used as a verb? It happened in a jour- nalistic magazine: "The film was so- to the United States." Salellitedl What next? Here is what's next: A policeman who told a traffic violator to pull his car over to the curb said, ac- cording to a news account, that suddenly the violator floor-boarded it and sped off. Spontaneous coinages like those two words do sometimes work their way into the language, but don't put too much money on cither of them. New York Times Syndicate Theodore M. Bernstein Last Day To Save on These Sales Open Today 12 to 5 Men's Sport Coats and Slack Sale Sale 3395 Reg. 39.95. Men's texturized polyester blazer. Single-breasted in assorted solid colors. For sizes 36-46. r60 Reg. The JCPenney slack of texturized polyester. In assorted patterns. Wide belt loops, cuffed flare leg. Penn in sizes 30-42. 75 Reg. Men's polyester double knit slack. Styled with wide belt loops and flare leg in assorted patterns. Sizes 30-42. Women's 20 Girls' 20% Men's Boys' I 5% Sale Ends Today men's dress shirts 15% off Reg' Sale Ends Today Sale 5.75 6.50 Save 1.50 20% off ail foundations Sale Ends Today Sale 1344 Reg. 15.98. Pre-school boys' polyester sport duo with single-breasted blazer and cuffed slacks. Patterns and solids. Sizes 3-7. Sale1688 Reg. 19.95. Boys' single-breasted sport blazer of texturized polyester. Sizes 14-20. Also in sizes 8-12, Sale 10.88 25% off all knit fabrics piece goods _____Sale Ends Today Save 20% Now thru Wednesday Save 20% on all men's neckwear. 2.50 3.50 2.80 Sale Thru Wed. Save 20% on fashion handbags. Reg. Sale 4.80 5.60 6.40 Save 1.20 1.40 J.60 Safe thru Wed. JCPenney We Know what you're looking for. Charge it at JC Penney, 109 Second St. S.L Cedar Rapids, Open 5 Nights A Week Monday thru Friday Saturday 9-5, Sunday 12-5   

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