Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Total Log Ban

By Anton Antonio
February 18, 2016

In my never-ending research for subject matters to blog about, I chanced upon this poster that says: “total log ban”.  (Please see accompanying image.)  How many times have you read this statement “total log ban”?  You’ve probably read it from newspapers describing a declaration or imposition by government.  Or a pro-environment advocacy group lobbying for it or evangelizing about it… a “total log ban”.  Sadly, however, the statement is simply wrong!

Let’s define the statement, “total log ban”, word for word.  The word “total” means complete, absolute or comprising the whole number, amount or volume of a given unit.   A “log” is a part of the trunk or a large branch of a tree that has fallen or has been cut off.  Please note that the growth of a tree is a natural process and phenomenon.  The word “ban” means officially or legally prohibited.  So, therefore, putting these definitions together, how can something that is a natural product like a tree (specifically the trunk and branch) be officially and legally prohibited (banned) from growing?  This just doesn’t make sense... or downright stupid!

What would make better sense is tweaking this statement (therefore, “total log ban”) to “total logging ban”.  In this case what we are officially and legally prohibiting or banning is the act of logging.  Logging is defined as the activity or business of felling trees and cutting and preparing the timber for utilization and conversion to other wood products.  In this application “logging”, as an activity, can be banned officially and legally by an authority.

The use of “log” over “logging” may seem like ordinary and insignificant semantics (meaning: the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning) but wouldn’t it be ideal to use correct words to describe specific issues and concerns?  Let’s do everyone a favour, it would not be rude to gently correct others when they use the statement “total log ban”.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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