Stop Using ‘mandate’ to Describe Policies That Aren’t Mandates


MINOT, N.D. — Not a single North Dakota city has passed a mandate for mask use.

That statement may confuse you because you’ve read headlines and news articles telling you that communities such as Minot and FargoDevils Lake and Grand Forks have implemented mask mandates over the last couple of weeks.

They haven’t.

They’re using the word “mandate” to describe resolutions instructing residents to wear masks but attaching absolutely nothing in the way of consequences for ignoring the instruction (notwithstanding the Fargo Police Department’s threats of criminal charges for jabronis pretending to have COVID-19 as a “joke”).

In Fargo and Minot, specifically, the verbiage put in place by the elected officials juxtaposes, with not a hint of irony, the words “mandate” and “recommendation” as if those words don’t completely contradict one another.

It would be funny if it weren’t so stupid.

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