Tom H. Hastings: Words matter, especially if we want to reshape our culture

The 14-year-old girl fumes at the dinner table. She got a D in math on her report card and notice of that was sent directly to her mother’s phone.

The mother naturally shared that with her partner and he laid down new rules restricting the girl’s use of her phone until her grades improved.

“This sucks!” exclaims the girl.

“Language!” said the mother, her hand raised palm out, like a stop sign.

Indeed, perception is reality and language is a weapon, used for the good or for ill. Did the girl deserve such censorship? Hard to say, right with such a minor infraction?