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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 10

Re: Terminology

From: Carol Maltby <CarolMaltby.nul>
Date: Sat, 9 Nov 2002 17:07:15 EST
Archived: Sun, 10 Nov 2002 14:39:18 -0500
Subject: Re: Terminology


>From: Will Bueche <willb3d.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Fri, 08 Nov 2002 19:00:59 -0500
>Subject: Re: Terminology - Bueche


<snip>

>Personally I'd encourage people to say the words "unidentified
>flying object" rather than say "UFO," for the simple reason that
>the term is abbreviated so often that there is probably one or
>two entire generations who have no idea what it stands for,
>unless they were a fan of the X-files. Give them words they can
>hold on to without any specialized knowledge.

>When reporters write on this subject, I try to help them with
>their language a bit, suggesting terms like "alien contact,"
>"contact," "alien encounter," "interaction", "visit," "episode,"
>etcetera, so they realize that in their reporting they can
>create more nuance than they would if they only used "abduction"
>as a catch-all word (which they often do, even when it does not
>apply).

>Developing language is important if we are to convey what we
>mean, and I applaud Connors for making an effort, even if her
>first suggestion didn't seem to take.

>By the way, on a related note, I want to mention that anyone who
>interacts with reporters might do well to have a few copies of
>the young-adult almanac, "Almanac of Alien Encounters" by Eric
>Elfman, to place into reporters' hands for instant
>perspective.

Are there any short guides on the Web discussing nuances of UFO
vocabulary that could be specifically aimed at reporters? If
there aren't, it would be useful to have some guides available.
It would need to be short, a couple of pages at most that could
be easily downloaded, to be given to the reporter as part of the
background orientation.   Might be good to let them know what
terms are likely to raise hackles, what cliches to avoid. Maybe
include some questions that might make them think about how they
can avoid sounding like the rest of the hacks and thus make
themselves sound better. You'd want to do it subtly, as you'd
want to give the impression that this is just helpful background
information that's in their self-interest, rather than having it
taken as an attempt to control content.

Will, do you have anything written up that would fit the bill,
given your experience? Is there anything in Elfman's book that
could be reprinted with his permission (and clear links for
ordering the original) that would suffice?


Carol Maltby


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