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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Lexicon

Somewhat, a break from politics. I use the word somewhat because many politically-oriented words have been co-opted over the past several decades. Before expounding upon the changes in politically-oriented words, please watch the video below, which offers some interesting observations about words which have changed meanings over the centuries:


Now please provide your observations as to how politically-oriented terminology has been co-opted by the opposition and thus reduced "the conversations" to blather.

My input...

For weeks now, Tucker Carlson has been asking many of his guests questions such as, "How, exactly, does granting the DACA's, who have no right to be here, the right to stay in our country benefit Americans?"

Sooner or later, every guest asked such a question cannot provide specific facts about the DACA's, becomes enraged, and screeches, "Don't demonize all immigrants!"

Apparently, Mr. Carlson and his guests have different definitions of the terms DACA's, benefit, and citizens.

Then, there's this absurdity: Justin Trudeau Corrects Woman Saying, ‘Mankind,’ Makes Her Say, ‘Peoplekind,’ Instead: ‘We like to say peoplekind, not necessarily mankind, because it’s more inclusive’.

54 comments:

  1. Thanks to the left's irresponsible and flamboyant abuse of the vocabulary, words like racist and nazi have lost their sting, and that is a shame for all of humankind, because we need these words, and we need them to sting those who really are nazis and racists.

    As Eric Blair predicted, progressives are debasing and shrinking the language.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree completely, though I'd offer that 'Communist' and 'Socialist' have likewise been diluted due to lazy reliance on them as pejoratives.

      Delete
    2. Though this didn't start with POTUS, we can definitely now add 'treasonous' to the list.

      Delete
    3. CI,
      You're back! It's been a while since you've visited here.

      Delete
    4. FJ,
      As time goes along, many of those men transitioned to women might be dying of prostate cancer -- because a cosmetic procedure doesn't alter DNA. Too bad the little ditty in the video didn't come up a clever rhyme for THAT!

      Delete
    5. It's been a while since you've visited here.

      Yup, I defeated ISIS, so they let me come home!

      And I've been rather blissfully insulated from our repulsive political theater, so I intend to carry on that theme to an extent.

      Delete
    6. Welcome back, CI. You must really love the life to go back over there when you don't have to.

      I understand. I was all hired to go back to Afghanistan three years ago when I got laid off. Another offer came through here in town, I took that as a sign from God and stayed here.

      Delete
    7. SF - I'm not sure I'd call it 'love', but Islamic terror groups have pretty much been my life since retirement. It's what I know, and it pays for the zombie apocalypse compound. Being away from the family sucks, but I do still get to work with our brothers-in-arms....so there's consolation.

      It'd be nice if we could have a conflict somewhere other than the middle east for a change.....

      Delete
    8. Better yet a complete ABSENCE of conflict for at least ten years.

      Delete
    9. @ CI: "It'd be nice if we could have a conflict somewhere other than the middle east for a change....."

      Latin America's much nicer. Even Honduras...

      Delete
    10. I agree with Silverfiddle (above)..."
      [P]rogressives are debasing and shrinking the language."
      Also, complete phrases.

      With the debasement, it becomes more difficult to communicate. Think "newspeak".

      I was speaking to a co-worker about a difficult problem that had been stumping us for several days. I said, "Last night I had an epiphany." I then had to explain what epiphany means. I find myself having to explain words and concepts that, I believe, any English speaking person should recognize, at least any native born with a rudimentary education.

      There is the ignorant use of words because their structure or sound make them similar to other words.

      Once I ran into a troll that thought rationalize meant to 'make rational'. Then and than, many people can't seem to understand which to use. Effect and affect. Refute means to prove something is false and does not mean to allege to be false. Irregardless is not a word.

      Most of those above are just the results of the "Progressive" education system or simple ignorance but there are also "Progressive" phrases ("Politically Correct") that are focus group tested and meant to demonize, obscure or put a palatable public face on detestable subjects. Social Justice, who decides what is justice and what would that "justice" consist of? Assault weapon, anything you attack somebody with is an assault weapon; if I force a hand full of marshmallows down someones throat do they become assault marshmallows? Investment in.... Really? Taxes are investments? "Women's Rights" seems to actually only mean an absolute right to abort a child at any point in time until a complete birth, even if the infant is viable.

      Delete
    11. To a certain extent, the lexicon controls the thought processes. It's no wonder that progressives are debasing and shrinking the language.

      Delete
  2. An Observer said

    With the exception of the last rapid fire example [i.e. literally can now be used to mean figuratively!] most of the examples he cites with the rapidity of machinegun fire are logical in that they at least bear some relationship to the root of the original word. Diaper, as a piece of pure white cloth is a good example. Blockbuster is another.

    I've always gotten a kick out of Bugs Bunny, but hate to think that somehow HE became a quasi-offical arbiter of acceptable English usage

    Also, I found it amusing and highly ironic that this supposed expert in lexicography mispronounced the word MISCHIEVOUS. It is MISS-chi-vuss, never miss-CHEE-vee-uss, though I'm sure his sad mispronunciation will come to be regarded as "CORRECT" simply because more and more will use it as time wears on.

    For good or fo ill, eventually the VERNACULAR WILL HOLD SWAY.

    It's why we no longer speak Chaucerian or Elizabethan English. And why the rich and beautiful language I have taken great pauns to master throughout my life is fast becoming obsolete. (SIGH!)

    Young people today use about ONE-FIFTH the vocabulary we did fifty-sixty years ago. And today using correct English with a large vocabulary is too often regarded as "snobbish, "racist" "sexist" or "discriminatory."

    What we admired, praised and looked up to when I was growing up is now denigrated, lampooned and frowned upon.

    We now call this "The Dumbing Down of America."

    NOT A GOOD THING!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Young people today use about ONE-FIFTH the vocabulary we did fifty-sixty years ago."

      I wonder if it occurred to you to ask "is this true?"

      Delete
    2. An Observer said

      One wonders if it ever occurs to a person like you that someone with considerable intelligence and keen powers of perception who has lived a long time is perfectly capable of discerning something like that for himself without any need for doing research using material compiled by self-styled "experts" in the Social Sciences?

      Delete
    3. No, but some data would be valuable, wouldn't it? Shouldn't you actively evaluate claims even when you wish were true? I honestly don't know how intelligent or perceptive you are, but it occurs to me that an incurious moron would be content with any "fact" pulled out of his own arse or that of a perceived ally, so long as it were sufficiently flattering or confirmed his biasses.

      Delete
    4. If you read classics and other writings in English from 50, 100 years ago or older, it is anecdotally apparent that people used a wider range of words back then.

      Interesting side note: Spanish has (I think, from memory) about 75% of the amount of words English has. I know its less. English has fed from many more linguistic streams than most other languages.

      If you Don Quijote in the original Castilian, he employs words and phrases no longer in use.

      As FreeThinke observes, the vernacular wins out every time. It is almost an axiomatic truth: Language is a tool of a people and they will adapt it as it suits them.

      I do share FT's dim view. adaptations we have been seeing over the past decades have not enriched the language, but impoverished it to suit increasingly less-literate people.

      Delete
    5. SF,
      If you Don Quijote in the original Castilian, he employs words and phrases no longer in use.

      I did so -- way back in college when I studied the Literature of the Medieval Age of Spain. Don Quijote is, of course, the most important work of the literature of Spain. Some would say, "The most important literary work in all of Spanish Literature!" I'm not sure that I agree with that assessment, but many hold a view contrary to mine.

      Anyway....

      The original Castilian that Miguel de Cervantes used was the zenith of the Castilian dialect. I think that, at the same time, Cervantes was poking fun of the language in much the same way he satirized the tenets of chivalry -- although by the end of the novel, Cervantes was showing that chivalry wasn't "all wrong."

      Delete
    6. Observer,
      literally can now be used to mean figuratively!

      That usage drives me up the wall -- even though the evoked imagery is often amusing.

      Delete
    7. SF: "... it is anecdotally apparent that people used a wider range of words back then."

      I would say it is apparent that some words have fallen into disuse, not necessarily that the vocabulary has narrowed; surely there are words in common usage today that would puzzle even a well-read man from a previous century?

      Are you comparing apples with apples? Of course most tweets couldn't be mistaken for Dickens, but I can think of recent novels that are linguistically rich enough to bare comparison with the classics.

      "adaptations we have been seeing over the past decades have not enriched the language, but impoverished it to suit increasingly less-literate people."

      Do you have any specific adaptations in mind? I can agree that certain moves are a great loss, such as the blunting of "literally" from something quite specific to mere intensifier, but I think that's just an example of a trend that's been going on for centuries at least. Something similar had already happened to "nice" in time for Jane Austen to make fun of it at the start of the 1800s.

      I do love English. It's a charming chaos, the accidental result of a collision of Latin and Germanic heritage. Every word resonates with meaning far beyond the surface definition. I'm just not convinced that many non-professional authors a hundred years ago made better use of it than eg. Kurt does now.

      Delete
    8. The language is collapsing in on itself, with words that used to have distinct meaning now operating as synonyms.

      We may not suffer from the forgotten 'fortnight' or the loss of the now verboten niggardly and renege,
      but now that "penultimate" means the best, what word shall we use for next to last?

      We are not witnessing the flowering of a language from new and interesting uses by the Conrad's of the world, but a lazy grabbing of any word because it sounds cool. We are devolving to a society of semi-literate morons.

      Delete
    9. I never heard penultimate misused that way, but you remind me how rarely ultimate is used as anything other than a superlative, except as part of the atomic phrase "ultimate destination."
      There are some good neoligisms too. I like meme (dawkins, 1970s) and i rarely use it, but i like that heteronormative (90s?) exists.

      Delete
    10. An Observer said

      "We are not witnessing the flowering of a language from new and interesting uses by the Conrad's of the world, but a lazy grabbing of any word because it sounds cool. We are devolving to a society of semi-literate morons."

      EXACTLY RIGHT! Good for you, Silver Fiddle!

      Doubtless there many useful new terms that would puzzle readers from a hundred years ago, but that is an unimportant consideration. [All the readers from a hundred years ago are DEAD.] };^)>

      What concerns and energizes me is the terrible loss of cultural heritage current usage is certain to produce for future generations. Very soon they will no longer be able to read with comprehensiin or any degree of pleasure most of the great literature from the past, because "Hip-Jargon," "Mod-English," "New-Speak," –– whatever you want to call it –– is fast relegating good standard English to the status of a FOREIGN tongue.

      All of this is just ANOTHER of myriad ways the Left is deliberately cutting us off from our past.

      I'm glad YOU at least can see this, though hardly to the extent that I do, I fear since I am twenty-five years your senior.

      I maintain the view that NO word once estabished as part of our enormously rich English vocabulary should EVER be considered OBSOLETE or ARCHAIC, because they live on in LITERATURE. The more curious we are, the more we know, the more we understand, the more we learn to appreciate, the better equipped we are to experience delight, wonder, whimsy, good cheer and joy.

      Ever since reading Nineteen-Eighty-Four when I was still in high school –– seven hundred years ago! –– I've been painfully, acutely aware of the degenerative process stealthily and relentlessly overtaking the language by the so-called Movers and Shakers (itself a despicable trendy term) for frankly nefarious purposes. [i.e. they want us to be as ignorant and stupid as possible so we will be easier to dominate and manipulate. What ould be more obvious?]

      The soul-deadening dulness of unimaginative, unsophisticated, heavily indoctrinated souls who've become smug and offensively cheeky in their abysmal ignorance and intolerant of those who do not share their stifling, constricted worldview is doing more to kill Civilization as my generation has been privileged to know and enjoy it than the myth of Global Warming and potential Nuclear Holocaust combined.

      SilverFiddle's well-phrased criticism deserves repetition for emphasis:

      "We are not witnessing the flowering of a language from new and interesting uses by the Conrad's of the world, but a lazy grabbing of any word because it sounds cool. We are devolving to a society of semi-literate morons."

      I do take exception, however, to his use of the world "cool" in this context –– one of the more regrettable linguistic perversions that have come into our lives via PopSpeak, NewSpeak, Hipster Jargon, etc.

      The idea that ANYTHING GOES VERBALIZATIONWISE as long as someone "knows what it means" is despicable and should be zealously resisted.

      Delete
    11. FT,
      What concerns and energizes me is the terrible loss of cultural heritage current usage is certain to produce for future generations. Very soon they will no longer be able to read with comprehensiin or any degree of pleasure most of the great literature from the past...

      It's already happened. I have had to abandon some works of literature in my homeschool classes. One of those abandoned works is Ivanhoe. Not only are the students unable to read the book with any fluidity but also are the parents stymied.

      I'm glad that the end of my teaching career is approaching.

      Delete
    12. I don't meet as many young people as you, Always. I think there's room for sprawling novels. Not at my time of life, as a parent of young children leisure time is heavily rationed and chronic fatigue has steered my tastes towards the gentle and undemanding. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! As for wider society, I see the growing appetite for serious TV dramas that sprawl over a dozen seasons and I wonder what happened to those famously short attention spans? Most of the adults I know read -- book clubs are very popular. I suppose there's enough people for lots of people to be dumbing down at the same time as others are smartening up.

      Delete
    13. An Observer said

      I believe you are British, Jez, is that right? We've been railing on here about the notable decline in AMERICAN culture and language usage.

      To be frank I don't believe we Americans –– in general –– have ever approached the high levels of literacy and refined taste as those of the privileged and educated classes in Britain. So, we may be arguing over whatever differences there might be between between raspberries and kumquats –– or possibly figs and thistles. ;-)

      Each of our countries exhibits abundant examples of highbrow, middlebrow and lowbrow taste, I'm sure but the percentage and the degree may vary considerably between them.

      It's encouraging to learn that book clubs and readers still abound in Britain.

      One perplexing thing, however: You mention not having either the time or the energy to enjoy what-you-call "sprawling novels." I'm not sure exactly what you may mean by that, but I have to say that my parents, who were as busy as any two people could possibly, have been, ALWAYS managed to spend a good portion of their time reading current novels and Dickens both aloud in the evenings, or separately at bedtime, or whenever the possibility arose. Of course, they did not have television to distract them, and the only form of mass communication came in various newspapers, news magazines, brief radio news reports that never exceeded fifteen minites in length, and of course Movietone Newsreels.

      I still remember learning of then-Princess Elizabeth's wedding to Philip Mountbatten at Westminster Abbey in June of 1947 from one of these black and white newsreels weeks after the event. I was six at the time, and the footage was short and indistinct, but that wedding made a deep impression on me, and I can still see in my mind what I saw then. The same was true of Elizabeth's coronation in June of 1953, although we did have very limited TV coverage by then.

      It may surprise you to know that the British Royal family had many devoted fans here in the States. Our knowledge was undoubtedly shallow and our understanding very limited, but the sense of KINSHIP was, nevertheless very real at the time.

      Unfortunately, the Royal Couple's children became for the most part a disappointment. Apparently they were every bit as susceptible to the pressure to conform to the increasing raucousness, dissolution and sheer commonness implicit in modern life as any American teenager steeped in Rock 'n Roll and the cultural atrocities that accompanied its highly regrettable ascendancy.

      As your old Queen Mary, mother of Edward the Abdicator, is reported to have said something like this at the time, "The only justification for the continued existence of the British monarchy is defined by the way we behave."

      The implication left hanging in the air, of course, was that in choosing to behave like a brainless playboy or any ordinary person born and raised in the gutter the Royals' raison d'etre would cease to exist.

      I think the Old Lady may really have had something there, don't you?

      The degeneration and dissipation of the glory of Western Civilization began either late in the nineteenth or early in the twentieth century depending on how you look at it –– a long slow, possibly inevitable process.

      The inevitability, however, does nothing to ameliorate its intense sadness.

      'Twould best be not forgot
      That for One Brief Shining Moment
      There was CAMELOT.


      Whether that was only a DREAM or a FANCY doesn't matter. It is a beautiful, noble CONCEPT we should always long for and strive towards as best we can.

      Delete
  3. Terrence Tattler said

    A few crummy neologisms and many once-standard words whose meaning has been deiberately subverted to serve political agendas in no particular order

    Liberal = Statist, Socialist, Marxist, Leftist
    Surveil = Monitor, Spy On,
    Issues = Problems
    Gay = Homosexual, Lesbian
    Immigrant = Illegal Alien
    Scab = Strike Breaker
    Hispanic = Latino
    Indian = Native-American
    Negro = now considered Offensive
    Colored Person = now considered Offensive
    Oriental = now considered Offensive
    Ms = now mandatory when referring to a woman
    Mrs. = now deemed Offensive
    Miss = now deemed Offensive
    Their instead of His = now mandatory
    Date Rape = dreamt up to empower nasty, aggressive females
    Marital Rape = dreamt up to empower nasty, aggressive females
    Sexual Harassment = Flirting now criminalized
    Sexual Predator = Heterosexual Male
    Bum = Homeless Person - Victim of Society
    Vagrant = Homeless Person - Victim of Society
    Hobo = Homeless Person - Victim of Society
    Juvenile Delinquent - Victim of Society
    Abortion = the right to murder your baby
    Conservative = Racist, Bigot, Mysogynist, Nazi, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terrence Tattler said

      We now must refer to slaves once owned by historic figures as THE ENSLAVED.

      Delete
    2. Terrence Tattler said

      She doesn't know where she's AT

      The board if directors has no idea where they're AT.

      Senate leader Mitch McConnell doesn't know wh,ere he's AT.

      A DEPLORABLE usage once scorned now, apparently STANDARD.

      Sometimes it's all right to end a sentence with a preposition, but to do it ALL the time is graceless and uncouth to say the least.

      UGH!.

      Delete
    3. Terrence Tattler said

      TO BOLDLY GO go where no man has gone before ;-)

      TO OFFICIALLY GIVE the stamp of approval ...

      TO PROPERLY COOK the casserole ...

      TO ELEGANTLY WEAR the gown ...

      Again splitting infinitives this way used to be FORBIDDEN, now –– most regrettably –– it seems to be more the RULE than the EXCEPTION.

      Again graceless, uncouth syntax that has degraded our use of the language.

      Delete
    4. This is the kind of linguistic pedantry up with which I shall not put!

      -- Sir Winston Churchill

      Delete
    5. Terrence,
      Isn't that first one iambic pentameter? Especially if we contract "man has" to "man's."

      Delete
    6. PS: I wonder if Shakespeare ever used split infinitives?

      Maybe a Google search will provide the answer.

      Delete
    7. Terrence,
      Thank you for those comprehensive lists! I may put them on Facebook.

      Delete
    8. Terrence Tattler said

      I was so hoping others would ADD to my lists. Instead –– in harmony with the clamorous, dissonant tenor of the times ––they want to argue AGAINST them.

      My 'puter was down for more than 24 hours. I kept thinking of more and more lingiustic atrocities now sadly considered acceptable usage. but couldn't post them.

      When language changes at the pace of NAtURAL EVOLUTION it must be considered a enccessary, –– possibly even a good –– thing. HOWEVER, when abrupt, obnxioous changes are FORCE FED into the language by Advertising Moguls, Agenda-Driven Leftist Urnalists and Marxist College Professors bent on upending the culture and destroying long-held standards whle promoting clumsy syntactical constructions and blatant vulgarity in order to to gain POLITICAL LEVERAGE I see it as frankly EVIL –– not too strong a term.
      _______________________

      One of the most lamentab;e. despicab;e trends –– pushed relentlessly by the EEMEDIA is the grwoung use of VERBS as NOUNS, and NOUNS as VERBS

      I ecpect any da now to see sentences like

      We CARRED ourselves downtown to MOVIE.

      Mother OVENED the turkey at 375º four and a half hours.

      The couple SEXED themselves till they ORGASMED.

      Mother PIED us after we TURKEYED.

      The president and first lady got LIMOUSINED to the Inaugural Ball.

      YUCK POO!

      Delete
    9. I was so hoping others would ADD to my lists.

      Maybe some will be added later tonight or tomorrow.

      Or maybe some have been overwhelmed by the bastardized lexicon that that have become inured. That would be a tragedy, IMO.

      PS: I admit that I laughed at some of your examples immediately above, especially Mother OVENED the turkey at 375º four and a half hours -- which struck me as particularly absurd but possible (if not tomorrow, then one day in the near future as so few know diddly about parts of speech).

      Delete
    10. I also got a good laugh from FT's latest post.

      Funny stuff! and original!

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Joe,
      Thanks! On my way right now to read it.

      Delete
    2. Comey's "good friend" Benjamin Wittes is up to his eyeballs in this... now meddling with the FISA Courts!

      Delete
    3. His trail of sedition is long and deep.

      I'll never again trust the globalists at the Brookings Institution.

      Delete
    4. These f*cks laugh at being labeled "The Deep State".

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. The funny thing is, these jokers believe themselves to be "apolitical". This Brookings affiliated blog (Lawfare) is nothing but Never-Trump snark. It's disgusting. The Swamp is proving itself to be "undrainable". It can only be abandoned, and left to sink with the castle built atop it.

      Delete
  6. Lawfare - Using the law as a weapon. Wittes runs the "Lawfare" blog.

    When they say that the Obama Admin "weaponized" DOJ, they weren't talking metaphorically.

    ReplyDelete
  7. ONE of MANY DEPRAVED CULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS
    that MAKE SUICIDE SEEM a DESIRABLE ALTERNATIVE

    _______ ROCK CONCERT _______

    

I see the bright flash of splintering glass
    And the moaning whine of a great turbine
    Tortures my ears.

    A thousand bullets tear through the air
    Each finding its mark in the heart
    Of an expectant listener

    And through the ensuing rending pain
    I hear this new and mean refrain

    What once was sweet has turned to gall
    And strength is used just to appall
    The congregation in the concert hall.

    Humor is lead. Tenderness dead,
    And all sense of style is dissolved in a bile
    Whose bitterness cannot be said,
    But can only be felt

    In the crash of the Beat at monotonous speed
    Which prompts only the question
    "Where will this lead?"


    ~ FreeThinke (1965)

    ReplyDelete

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