Using terminology to frame the debate
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.
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