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A letter about Nonviolent language

Language of nonviolence

In your story about Andrea "Killer" Kilbourne '02 (sports, December 20), she is described as an "assassin," and "lethal weapon" by writer Patrick Sullivan ó and as a "humble, gracious player [with a] "killer instinct" by her Princeton coach, Jeff Kampersal '92.

We have become sensitive to avoiding racist and sexist language, but we still speak and write the language of lethality with seeming unconcern amidst lamenting the violence of American society and the world. To call killing, "killing," when it is real is a service to society. When we employ the language of lethality gratuitously it is not. It would be just a "game" if no one was killing anybody.

This is the first year of the "U.N. International Decade for Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World (2001-2010) ó although the media has scarcely taken notice of it and may not do so for a decade. Nevertheless it is a good time to think about what contributions we are making to cultures of violence and what alternative contributions we might make to strengthening powerful cultures of nonviolence.

I have become awakened to the need for more nonviolent creativity in language and in all aspects of American and global society. Whatever little we can do will help.

Glenn D. Paige '55

Honolulu, Hawaii

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