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Choosing a word because it evokes a specific emotion rather than because it is accurate.
After 9/11 the word "terrorism" became a much more emotional term for Americans than before, when it was equally deplorable yet much more theoretical in most people's minds (i.e. something that happens elsewhere). Consequently, politically active people engaged in vocabulary hijacking by applying the term "terrorist" to their opponent's activities (e.g. environmental "terrorists", government-sponsored "terrorists", anti-choice "terrorists").
by FigurinOutLife February 10, 2006