As one who always harps on the importance and power of language, I got a good reminder the other day. I was at a conference on human trafficking in the southern cone and someone commented on something I hadn’t thought about:
By naming human trafficking a “phenomenon” are we diminishing the perception of criminality? The woman who made the point was irate. Bell bottoms are a phenomenon. Global warming is a phenomenon. Human trafficking is a crime.
I can’t promise that I will stop talking about the phenomenon and how it has shifted over time, etc.; however, it certainly is something to think about.