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An Essay On "Tools": A Word With a Diverse Meaning

Updated on September 16, 2019
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An air warrior, MG has a checkered and owns a string of cars including Mustang and BMW

Concept of Tools

Introducing the word "tool"

Recently I held a screwdriver in my hand and started to use it to unwind a screw that needed to be replaced. I realized that the screwdriver was the tool in my hand for the task of replacing the screw. It was an inane object that did what my hand directed it to do. After the job was completed my mind reflected on the word tool itself. I realized that it has multifarious meanings. It could also mean anyone who lacks the mental capacity to know that he is being used for some special task. In other words, a tool, in this case, would represent a fool. A person used to carry out the designs of another; a dupe. There are umpteen of them all around us and in everyday life.

Again I looked at the screwdriver and realized it is just a device to facilitate manual or mechanical work. Here its use is simplistic and could include a machine such as a lathe that is used to cut and shape machine parts or just as cutting part of such a machine that can facilitate manual or mechanical work.

A wider meaning of tools is something regarded as necessary to the carrying out of one's occupation or profession. But bear in mind that words are the tools of our trade. Tools encompass a wider range of meanings from slang to the sublime. In the slang form, it could refer to a penis of man which can be classified as a tool of pleasure. It could also refer to something used in the performance of operation; an instrument like a musical instrument – a guitar which could be a tool to act as a backdrop to the voice of a singer.

The ramification of tools is not restricted and modern science of computers is also not without its tools. It can also refer to an application program, often one that creates and helps as well as modifies or analyzes other programs. Using the Internet for editing tools and professional editing services is the wider ramifications of the word tool. Computer specialists will vouchsafe that there are various online editing tools that can be used for a host of purposes from writing essays to articles. The tools here in will check basic spelling errors and offer suggestions for correcting grammatical flaws. Although most of these tools are free to use, you still have to use your good old’ grammar sense. You can’t expect them to be 100% accurate all the time. This is not top-notch editing service and for that, you will have to hire a professional editor and that will burn a hole in your pocket.

Tools of invention and Imperialism

A look at history and the age of empires with particular regard to the onset of European imperialism brings out the fact that it was possible only due to the tools of the invention available with the European powers. These inventions were the tools of the conquest of the European countries. The invention of better and more lethal weapons played havoc with natives armed with bows and arrows.

European imperialism has basically three phases. First was the phase of penetration and exploration of foreign countries, and the second phase was the conquests of the nations in Africa and Asia followed by the imposition of European rule. The last phase was the establishment of a communication and transportation network in the conquered territories. This was a tool for consolidation of the colonial rule and was not with any motive of upliftment of the local masses. In all these phases the role of technical improvements and technological innovations provided the tools for Europeans to capture foreign lands. Look at South America. This is a classic example of the tools of destruction that led to the colonization of a large continent inhabited by primitive tribes. There is no doubt that Technological improvements enabled Europeans to explore and conquer, at low costs, areas that previously appeared obscure and difficult to reach. In other words, it is not without the suggestion that these advancements satisfied European imperialistic motives and were brought about by tools that gave them greater firepower vis a vis their opponents.

Tools to motivate people and groups

European imperialism is a thing of the past more to be studied than anything else, but the use of tools to involve civil populations in large conflicts as tools can be frightening. Let us take a look at Palestine. Why Palestine? Well, it is one of the hot spots and an excellent example of the insensitiveness of governments and rulers to use civil populations as tools for the furtherance of their political aim.

We all have heard of Gaza city and Rafah as important towns in Palestine. The sad part is that both these towns also double up as army camps. They are not big towns and thus extremely vulnerable. The jihadist and freedom fighters have their training sites close to schools and rockets and ammunition is stored in the basements of multi-story family homes. Such callous behavior just cannot be condoned. There is plenty of aid coming in from various sources including the west but then it is a convenient tool for diversion to buy weapons for Hamas. Everybody knows that this aid is used to buy weapons yet it comes in big bags. The sad part is that over a million Palestinians are bottled up here and they have nowhere to go. They can’t enter Egypt or Israel at all. So what is there choice but to side with Hamas and the military junta whose sole aim and priority is the killing of Israelis, across the international border? The local population has no choice in this and it's more like a fait accompli. They are thus a convenient tool for these people for their own nefarious activities.

Effect of Tools can be Monstrous

The results are frightening. No sand table model in Staff College whether in the UK, USA or India can countenance what these men have planned. It is a monstrous, deliberate mingling of armed fighters and civilians. This novel doctrine that pitches infantry among infants and babies as barricades has been perfected with decades of practice and training. Thus the civil population has become a tool for Hamas to further their political agenda. There can be no escape from this. All the studies of the classic concept of battle have been violated here and the world cannot help but watch.

Well, one cannot deny that civilians have always been in the line of fire and conquest. Whether it was Troy or Berlin in 1945 civilians had no escape. The Greeks torched Troy after the Trojan horse breached the fortress of troy and the Russian when they mounted the assault on Berlin no quarter was given and even white flags of surrender had no meaning. Perhaps it was following the politics of revenge and the Russians wished to pay the Germans back in their own coin. But no regime, not even the Nazis ever used its citizens so deliberately as tools to arouse world sympathy, for the furtherance of their aims. And mind you there are umpteen nations that sympathize with the cause of Hamas.

Throughout centuries Military ethos has taught all soldiers not to hurt non-combatants. But Hamas and its military arm have completely bolstered this page from military tactic and theory. They have taken a conscious decision, banking on global humanitarian concerns, to use their civil population as atoll to further their aim. They would like nothing better than that the Israel strike back and kill as many civilians as possible. The population as a tool for the achievement of their goal is simply hideous.

Hamas is hoping for electrifying results to win world sympathy and a civil population is an excellent tool for the furtherance of their aim. Dammed, if a few hundred or a thousand die. How are they concerned? After all, the aim is to use this civil population as a tool to put Israel in the dock.

These tools can be effective as Israel may switch anytime from aerial bombardment to ground invasion. In this case, the civilian death toll will surely rise. As world opinion slowly awakens from its holiday slumber, it is likely to turn against Israel. After all, it is the strong guy, the former occupying power, the better shooter. Even Russia, its boots still covered with Georgian dust, has joined the choir of double standards.

It is hard to digest that the Palestine leadership to the detriment of their own people want neither peace nor compromise. They have a good friend in Iran, which backs them in a one-point agenda that wants Israel dead and erased from the map of the Middle East. Kill as many Israelis as possible . This is the naked truth and one cannot run away from it.

Well, Israel and Palestine are far away and I will like a look at my home. My wife admonished me that I am not concerned about the tools she needs in the kitchen. So I thought why not makes a list as what tools everyone must-have in the kitchen. After all, you need good wholesome food.

Tools in the home

As a start, you will need stainless steel and nylon utensils and certain other basic kitchen utensils. These are specialist items and can be bought in the market at specialist shops and most supermarkets. Some top chefs have their own ranges of kitchenware. As with all kitchen

Equipment, it always pays to buy quality utensils that will not just last longer and more important will probably do a better job as well. There are cheaper versions of everything available, but you will have to decide on what tools you wish to gift your wife in the kitchen and the money that you can shell out.

Thus tools for the kitchen are important. There is a good chance that you may not pay much attention to these tools. But bear in mind that trying to use the ‘wrong’ utensil to do a job in the kitchen can be frustrating, and not at all desirable. You might even put yourself in some danger. Consider a simple detail like the handle-length of your utensils. These have been designed for specific tasks; with practicality and safety in mind. It is important to use utensils made from the right material (non-metallic) on non-stick pans to avoid damaging the special surface coating. It is also important that they help in the fulfillment of the ultimate aim – good food.

Examples abound and we have Spatulas which have broad, flat and often flexible, blades. These are good for r lifting, spreading or stirring foods. They can be made of rubber, wood or stainless steel to suit non-stick, metal or enamel saucepans. You can have Slotted spatulas which can be used to lift and drain food.

Tools for Fish slices are another of the most used kitchen utensils. Remember they are not just for fish alone as the angled head and long slots, making them an ideal instrument for lifting fried food from pans and baked food from baking sheets and spreading them on the table.

Tongs are one of the best tools and they are very useful for grasping and lifting individual pieces of food as they cook under the grill, in the frying pan, or on the barbeque, such as chops, sausages, and rashers of bacon. You cannot have improper tools for any of these and if you do not go by the rule book, then the cooking will be that much harder.

Thus we have the long-handled ladle that is excellent for soup in large bowls. They are also useful for lifting the froth from stock pots and transferring liquid from one container to another. For example, when adding cold cream to a hot dish, the cream needs to be combined with some of the hot liquid first to make sure it blends in satisfactorily; the ladle is ideal for this.

Then we have something that is essential, a good potato masher. Nothing else quite does the job as well as a proper masher. Its use is not restricted to potato mashing only though; it is very useful for pushing out the excess moisture from cooked spinach and can be used to make an acceptable sort of puree if you do not have a liquidizer. Mashed Swede, parsnip and carrot can be made perfectly, too, of course! In addition, you will need a cheese grater; it will prove its worth as an invaluable tool that will hold its place in the kitchen
These are just some of the absolute necessities as far as tools are concerned, to get your wife in the right mood to get into the kitchen and cook. As our cooking develops and we become more interested in certain aspects of it, so the need for more refinement and more specialist tools. Pastry, bread, and cake making equipment and utensils could fill another cupboard alone. But you will have to assess what you most of all by thinking about the food preparation you need do and what you eat at home.

Then we have Whisks, Presses, and Reamers –really potent tools in the kitchen. I don’t think a specialist cook can do without them.
Whisks are excellent tools and they serve a definite purpose. On any day or time, you can use them for lumpy gravy, carelessly-thickened sauces. You can use them to give them a good beating with a balloon whisk to eggs. Well, a handheld blender run by electric power can be a good substitute and a lot of hard work will in effect be obviated.!

Garlic presses are designed to change firm cloves of garlic into a softer, more palatable, form. It is a specialist tool and if you have the inclination then buy it. If you do buy a press, get one that will last, does the job without hurting your hand and is easy to clean.
Reamers (usually glass or plastic) have a conical projection that is used to extract the juice from citrus fruits, like lemons and oranges. When the fruit is cut and pressed down on the projection, the juice runs down and is collected in a reservoir at the bottom. You can use a kitchen juicer as well but this is a handheld tool and has its own charm.

Tools and propaganda

Tools are used in every walk of life more so in the field of propaganda. The propagandist tries to stimulate others to accept without challenge his own assertions or to act as he wants them to do. The idea of using suggestion or stimulation as a propaganda device is that it will lead public to accept a proposition even though there are no logical grounds for accepting it. The propagandist usually tries to side-step critical reactions from his audience, and therefore suggestion is one of his most important tools.

How does the propagandist use this tool? By making broad and positive statements, by presenting his statements in a simple and familiar language. By refusing to admit, or even suggest, that there is another side to the question. Hitler’s brutal and direct suggestion that the Jews sold out the German people in World War I—the “stab in the back,” the Nazi propagandists called it—is an example of this kind of propaganda. Another example is the repeated Nazi propagandist assertion that Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt are “warmongers.”


Commercial advertising relies a lot on the art of suggestion. An example that comes across every day is the bland declaration that some particular vitamin will remedy “that run-down and spent feeling.”

The suggestion is another propaganda tool that has a subtle use. It just grows on the mind of a man. This tool makes use of hints, insinuations, or indirect statements.

Some examples, from the field of advertising, will illustrate this aspect. The sponsorship of a theater by a commercial company may be expected to create a feeling of goodwill on the part of the visitor or patron who is fond of plays. Sometimes programs designed to portray the life and culture of another country is propagandistic in nature, designed to “sell” that country to listeners in a home country.

The third method of propaganda is the appeal to the known desires of an audience. Psychologists say that desire is an important factor in belief. Thus some persons may support some unsound economic scheme because they desire an income in their old age. Others will subscribe to some fraudulent “scheme of psychology” in order to improve their “personality.”

The self-interested propagandist will study public opinion to find out what things people are “for” or “against” in order to decide on the labels that he will use to bring about desired reactions. He knows that such words as “justice,” “Constitution,” “Americanism,” and “law and order,” which arouse favorable attitudes, will serve as a favorable background for his message, and so he uses them. On the other hand, he may use certain other words—for example, “radical” or “un-American”—to influence his listeners to reject a cause or idea that he regards as inimical to his own interests.

The basic of advertising is to appeal to the inherent desire of the common man. What does a common man want? Psychologists will tell you that he or she desires to be strong and healthy, to be socially acceptable, to be beautiful, and to be loved. Thus the ad man will focus on items that people want like drug products, cosmetics, reducing preparations, soaps, perfumes et al... Anyone who is accustomed to reading advertisements will instantly recall dozens of illustrations of appeals to such desires used to promote a wide variety of products.

The skilled propagandist also knows the techniques of “making ideas stick.” It is because of this knowledge that he resorts to keywords and slogans, shibboleths, or other symbolic forms.

The advertising slogan packs meaning into short sentences. The purpose is to get them noticed. They will find their way into the minds of people. When a person is choosing a commodity to buy, it is expected that

The slogan will come easily to the surface of his mind. A good many years ago advertisers discovered that “reason-why” appeals were not always effective. Appeals were shortened and emotionalized since many readers will not wade through explanations of why one commodity is better than another.

Striking slogans

Striking slogans have formed the backbone of international political propaganda. History will bear this out. You do not have to look very far and so many will come before you. For example, the Turkish Empire earned the name, “the sick man of the Golden Horn”. The idea was to show the Turkish Empire as a sloth. Hitler the dictator of Germany deserves credit for coining names for the democratic nations which he referred to as “Pluto-democracies.”

When he was campaigning for power he heralded a campaign cry that resounded among the German masses stating “The Versailles Treaty is a monstrous lie.” Mussolini, The Italian fascist was fond of slogans like “a book and a rifle make a perfect Fascist” and “a plow makes a furrow but a sword defends it.” Thus these were the tools of propaganda and mind you they were extremely successful.

Nazi propaganda both inside and outside Germany bore the hallmark of terror. Yet, it must be understood that this is not the main tool of other slogans and symbols. Thus the Red Cross slogans as “All you need is a heart and a dollar is one that goes down as unchallenged.” The socially-minded impulse behind the Salvation Army slogan, “A man may be down, but he’s never out.” Is again noncontroversial and accepted by all. Compelling slogans have been devised to win support for war relief, community help, and many other such activities.

Sometimes slogans have galvanized entire populations. This is in vogue since time immemorial. One learned scholar has suggested that if a slogan is catchy and correct it can turn out to be everlasting. Thus we still remember such striking slogans as “No Taxation without Representation” from the American Revolution, “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity” from the French Revolution, and “Peace, Bread, and Land” from the Russian Revolution and Gandhi’s quit India slogan.

Propaganda makes use of slogans, but it also makes effective use of symbols. A symbol is a concrete representation of air idea, action, or thing—a sign that stands for something, as crossed rifles stand for the Infantry and as wings and propeller represent the Air Forces.


A symbol can be anything. It can be a word, a mark, an object, a song, a flag, an image, a picture or anything that you can think off. However, it must be something with which a common man is familiar. In fact, it can be anything that can represent to the masses. It can be something with which the mass of people can strike a chord. It should convey a meaning to the people at large. A symbol is a kind of bond that binds a group or a section together. Symbols are the tools of a propagandist that help him in his primary task. They are the vehicle in which he can ride and gives him the opportunity to galvanize the opinion of the masses The opinion can be positive or negative as desired by the propagandist.

Nazi propaganda

We can have a look at the propaganda machine of the Nazis when they were in power during the thirties and forties of the last century. They were effective in creating symbols, Catchwords, and slogans as tools for the implementation of their philosophy and brand. The German people swallowed hook-like and sinker all these tools of Nazi propaganda. The tools of Nazi propaganda incorporated such high sounding words like “immutable,” “imperishable,” and “for all future time.” The purpose to sell a dream to the German people. In this, it can be safely said that they were mere Opportunists. As such in case a symbol or phrase outlived its utility they were quick to discard it and replace it with something else. Always taking care to see that the new symbol or phrase again caught the imagination of the common man. Slogans were so chosen that could be easily mouthed by the common man and as used it as a tool to keep the population occupied with their dream however futile or utopian it may be.

In contrast in the East, Japanese civilian and fighting man was exhorted to carry out his duties and become a cog in the war machine in the name of the emperor. The emperor was thus a handy tool in keeping the common man in awe. To achieve their aim the powers that be emphasized that the emperor was immortal and a descendant from the sun god. Thus the symbol of the emperor as a god was used to stimulate the fighting effectiveness of soldiers and sailors. The Japanese, in their propaganda attacks on Americans and British, played up the symbol “white exploiter.” The Japanese imperialist also had its symbol of “co-prosperity”. The Japanese knew, that it was silly but it helped them disguise their real intentions. They just held a carrot to the occupied Asian populations. It didn’t matter that all this was a big lie. Thus one of the tools of success in any field is propaganda or publicity. It really does not matter that the end product is true or verifiable. After all, Dr. Goebbels dictums ‘A lie repeated a hundred times is a truth’ is the centerpiece tool of anything in this world.

Last word

Lastly, we have slang as well. Here the tool is used in a language that may not be conducive to people who feel they belong to an elite class. It is a workman language and refers to the organ of creation. You cannot have a man without a tool and the centerpiece is that the tool is the object that procreates and keeps man from becoming an extinct species. This is one environment where you do not need a propagandist, as this tool is universal and all-pervading


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