Roberta Laurie

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I’ve been writing about “ethical oil” for some time, trying to understand the language that justifies the expansion of the Alberta oil sands. For a wordie like me, tracing the origins of this linguistic frame from Ezra Levant’s 2010 bestseller through its evolution — politically, culturally, and corporately motivated — to its current use by media, politicians, industry, and the public is fascinating. And a moral responsibility. This summer, I’m writing a… Read More

Frames, at least the effective ones, have a way of sticking. And in case you’re fuzzy on frames, here’s a definition from the guru of linguistic framing, George Lakoff: “Frames are mental structures that shape the way we see the world.” To elaborate, frames are the mental associations that we make — involuntarily make — when we hear a word/phrase or see an image. For example, if I say the word “popcorn,”… Read More