Using terminology to frame the debate

MLewyn's picture

I recently saw a listserv post with the headline "the costs of automobilism."  The phrase "automobilism" makes automobile dependence seem like an alien ism, a sinister ideology like communism or fascism.  

By contrast, sprawl lobby types prefer the term "auto-mobility."  By associating driving with mobility, they suggest that cars equal freedom and opportunity.  After all, who would be against being mobile (or at least having the opportunity to be mobile)?

I have to admit that I prefer the former term- not just because of my own ideological biases, but also because I think automobile-dependent places, nondrivers are in fact less mobile than they would otherwise be.


Write your comments in the box below and share on your Facebook!