Eric Weinstein has an interesting post about Russell Conjugation:
most words and phrases are actually defined not by a single dictionary description, but rather two distinct attributes:
I) The factual content of the word or phrase.
II) The emotional content of the construction.
Where words can be considered "synonyms" if they carry the same factual content (I) regardless of the emotional content (II). This however leads to the peculiar effect that the synonyms for a positive word like "whistle-blower" cannot be used in its place as they are almost universally negative (with "snitch," "fink," "tattletale" being representative examples)....
He gives firm/obstinate/pigheaded as another example. Or estate tax and death tax. Or "illegal aliens" and "undocumented immigrants."
many if not most people form their opinions based solely on whatever Russell conjugation is presented to them and not on the underlying facts...traditional media has all but lost control of gate-keeping our information, but not yet how it is emotively shaded. In fact, it is relatively simple to write a computer program to crawl factually accurate news stories against a look-up table of Russell conjugates to see the exact bias of every supposedly objective story.
That makes sense to me and is confirmed by some of Matthew Gentzkow (and Jesse Shapiro)'s economics work on media bias, for which Gentzkow won the John Bates Clark Medal.