The debasement of language, once it is used to obfuscate rather than to establish the truth, breeds cynicism. It may not be the sole cause of social decline, but it does contribute to this powerfully. Indeed the language of advertisers, of public relations and the carefully created 'image', which plays so prominent a role in the free world, has brought a new kind of insincerity into our lives. No generation has been so aware of the treachery in language when it is trusted too readily. Everywhere people have grown wary of rhetoric, now used in a derogatory sense. The very nature of language seems to oppress the mind with a burden of inherited prejudices and assumptions; it can be inert as well as sensitive to our human impulses; barbarous in its unexamined metaphors; constantly exposing the limitations of words as an instrument of thinking; opaque where it should be luminous, deceptively clear where there is confusion below the surface.