By Paul Goldfinger, Editor Tropicanaforum.com
Tropicana does not have an enviable record of free speech. You may recall when the Trop. Facebook page dismissed Eileen because she dared to suggest that readers might find the Tropicanforum.com of interest.
So naturally, we at the Forum are sensitive to any suppression of free speech in this park or elsewhere.
Yesterday we were notified by a resident that we should not refer to our homes in this park as “trailers.” We must, she says, say “manufactured homes.”
But let’s face it, a pig is a pig, even with lipstick on.
When I talk to my friends and relatives I tell them that I live in a “trailer park,” albeit a beautiful one, but they understand the language. If I say “manufactured home, they will be clueless. I also tell people that I live in an “immobile home.”
Calling my home here a “trailer” is OK, because even though it doesn’t do any trailing (it has no wheels,) most people understand what it is.
A park resident looked into this language issue and was told that the industry proclaimed that if your home was made before 1980, it was a “trailer”–after that it is a “manufactured home.” But this is a phony distinction designed to somehow help the industry sell houses.
The name “manufactured home” is confusing because all homes are manufactured to some degree. We have friends who built a Timberpeg house in Pennsylvania. It was delivered totally built in a factory and assembled on the site. It is precisely aligned down to the last millimeter. The quality is superb and the architecture amazing. It is a manufactured home, but not like ours.
We live in a society where the use of certain words or phrases are not appreciated and sometimes not allowed, as in the classrooms of certain public and private schools and universities.
As far as we are concerned, political correctness has run amok in America, and although this Tropicana debate is not political, it is an attempt to control speech. It may seem to be trivial, but we will object whenever we can.
I surveyed many of the news articles which appeared reporting on the Iona Tornado. Below are published quotes by professional news people who referred to our park:
“A tornado, triggered by a powerful winter storm… tore through trailer parks in Fort Myers and surrounding areas of Florida on Sunday,..”
“An EF-2 storm plowed through the Tropicana RV Resort in Lee County …” Quote by a Florida official.
“John Finelli, a resident of the Tropicana Mobile Home Park in the Iona area of Fort Myers, Florida, moves damaged material after a tornado destroyed his home on Sunday .”
” A tornado with winds of up to 118 mph severely damaged several parts of Fort Myers, Florida, including the Tropicana Mobile Home Park.”
“A tornado tore through Florida trailer parks, destroying over 30 homes and causing minor injuries”
“A tornado driven by a powerful winter storm ripped through trailer parks in Fort Myers
“Damage From Tornado At Tropicana RV Resort In Fort Myers Is unspeakable
The tornado moved through three separate mobile home communities including including Point Breeze, Tropicana, and Century 21.”
“Manufactured homes, sometimes referred to as mobile homes or trailers,….”
In reviewing what we have been doing on this blog, we usually refer to houses as “homes.” It is rare that we say “trailer” or “manufactured homes.”
But, to be honest, when I talk to people about our home, I find it pretentious to say “manufactured home” because it is just trying to use words to convey an inflated meaning in order to mislead others.
I will not be intimidated to change my words because I don’t use words that are hateful or disingenuous, or false.
So I still like the word “trailer” because it is honest. And you should call it whatever you please and have the courage to stand up for your words and not let the word police intimidate you.
ARTHUR PRYSOCK AND COUNT BASIE: