Why it is important to protect words from redefinition...

in Proof of Brain5 months ago (edited)

Over the years I've written numerous articles about Word Hijacking(1|2|3|4). In this case I want to indicate this is just my loaded emotional phrasing of word redefinition. This is one of the most insidious things happening and if you want to blame specific tactics that are causing the problems in the world I personally believe this is at the root of most of them.

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We think in words. If the definition of a word is changed then a path of thought is changed. People may think this is good. I contend in this particular case it is NEVER good. That meaning and definition will have been established and already used.

If a word has had meaning for some time it will likely have ended up in literature, scientific journals, historical accounts, and even other forms of media. When you know the meaning of the word you can properly interpret and understand those things from the past when you encounter them. If the meaning is changed (often to be almost the opposite of the original meaning these days) and that is the only meaning you are aware of you cannot properly understand or interpret those things.

Likewise if the goal of words is to communicate knowledge, and enable rapid communication and exchanges between people then if people speaking the same language but only knowing completely different meanings of the words will struggle in their communication. They may eventually succeed but for that to happen they will need to spend a large amount of time explaining definitions so each person will have proper context. This is extremely wasteful. In many cases the people may not bother. They may not have the patience. They may not have the time. The redefined meaning may lead to conflict and hate (perhaps as it was intended).

Now some people may say that people can know the multiple meanings. The problem is that you cannot insure that. Furthermore, it is basing your thoughts on NOW and ignoring the FUTURE. If I know that the word Liberal usually refers to a person who believes in freedom and tolerance. Yet we look at the people claiming to be Liberals today who are often the complete opposite of that. Now consider people in the future (and it is already happening today) that when they think Liberal they think of these intolerant jerks that are using the label today. What do you think they will consider the word Liberal?

You don't have to imagine. I see people referring to bad people and bad actors as Liberals on a regular basis. The problem is by the true meaning of the word Liberal those bad actors are nothing of the sort. They simply are "identifying" as liberal.

Now consider people that have lived this way who go back and are studying history and they keep seeing the word liberal. Do you think they will have a proper mental image for what these people in the past actually were like? I can assure you they will not if they are comparing them to the people "identifying" as liberals today.

This is a huge problem and it is being used to divide us, make us fight, make us afraid, and to rewrite history by simply changing the meaning of words.

If you go along with the hijacked definitions you are giving into the mind control. You have ceded mental territory. We are so fixated on looking at the physical I think we often fail to notice that our mind is kind of a territory as well. It is actually likely a far more important territory than the physical. You can move. You cannot get a different mind.

Thus, I decided awhile ago that I would fight back against this.

When I see someone I know using a hijacked definition I challenge it. I make it clear I understand what they are saying and why. I tell them that I am only pointing out the true definition of the word because we think in words and I don't want someone to change how they think simply by changing the meaning of words.

I do have a word I use for the people that are usually the bad liberals, or people pushing the "identify" as type crap with any true believing (so not the people doing it as a joke or for satirical reasons) as "Leftists". Why? That didn't have a very distinct meaning that I saw. I mean we have the Overton window and what has been referred to as Left and Right but it was not clearly defined. I thus use "Leftist" right now myself when referring to people pushing this agenda.

I do not call them Progressives, because as with Liberal there is nothing particularly progressive about them. They are actually quite regressive if you've paid attention and studied history. Thus those being bashed as progressives. Nah to me those are just "Leftists" who are "identifying" as Progressives.

Progressive generally means to try new things, move forward, and is generally an embodiment of experimentation. It is not the casting aside of ideas. It is often the bringing together of ideas and cultures and trying new things built upon those combinations.

Bringing back segregation is not progressive. It is regressive.

This sickness is largely riding upon the concept of being able to identify as whatever you want. In the past we called that imagination. I don't think many of us have problems imagining whatever they want. We simply used to have problems with people trying to force other people into believing their imagination is real.

If you wanted to imagine yourself as a woman even though you were born with a penis and had male genetics. That wasn't really my business. Until you started forcing me to treat you as one. Until I started being threatened with job loss, prison, etc. if I would not accept your imagination as truth.

I am totally for freedom of anyone until they start thinking they can infringe upon the freedoms of others. You are free to imagine whatever you want. You are not free to force me to believe what you believe.

If you can convince governments and laws to force me that doesn't make it suddenly a good thing. That just is an indication you have successfully corrupted government more than it already was and you are pushing it more towards authoritarianism and if history is any indicator eventual horrors/atrocities.

Horrors can manifest in many ways. I contend that many of the horrors currently happening in the world have their seeds in hijacked words. Words that no longer fit what they mean if you have studied history and are familiar with words.


I personally BELIEVE (I don't use that word lightly) that there should be no forbidden words. There will always be words that are distasteful to people for many different reasons. People should still be able to speak them. I don't think there should be any banned words. We should also be able to use any racial slur of a word or otherwise bigoted word we want.

Why?

By banning the use of the word you also get rid of one of the windows into the character of a person.

WARNING OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE AHEAD

I am going to use some words from this point on that many (likely most) of you will find very offensive. I can say this is the first time I've ever written this word in many decades(that I can remember), and it is something I don't say out loud.

The word Nigger. I am not black so I am not allowed in current society to say that word without outrage. If I were black I'd be free to use it. I don't think it should be banned from anyone. If I was free to use that word on a regular basis and I chose to use it wouldn't that tell you a lot about my character?

So would you rather me dress the wolf up like a sheep or do you want to be able to see the wolf?

If so then why would you ban one of the most useful tools for quickly letting you know the character of other people?

By banning it all you do is make it so you can't see them for who they really are.

This applies to ALL words whether they are fuck, shit, bitch, asshole, cunt, or any other word that is distasteful. I do not use these words myself outside of this post. I've been known to use them verbally when I am particularly angry and I am not pleased with myself when I do. People who know me are shocked and know it is serious if they hear it.

Then there are people in my family who use fuck like it is punctuation for a sentence. They use it so much that it has no emotional weight when they use it. If they were extremely angry you would not know it by the presence of that word because they use it so frequently.

It is a personal choice.

Banning words is simply another way to separate us and provide ways to attack someone as a bad person. They are a profaner. They are a racist.

Neither of these may be true depending upon their culture, how they were raised, how tolerant their upbringing was, and without knowing their true intent. You cannot know anyone's true intent except your own unless you happen to be a mind reader or they themselves tell you their intent.

These days I see a lot of people reacting to words that were not said. They'll say things like "he was implying X" when X wasn't mentioned anywhere. This is a pet peeve of mine. I've had people say that I was implying things that never entered my mind on numerous occasions. I've gotten into the habit of saying unless I am writing poetry, song lyrics, etc. I try to avoid implying anything that you need to secretly understand. I try to state only what I am thinking. If you must add things that I didn't explicitly say then those things happened in your head, not mine.

Some people like to play word games with hidden meanings. Usually you can tell when that is the intent. I don't by default assume people are doing that. To do so seems counter productive. Having to guess what someone means slows down the entire process. If I ever do it in conversation it is when there is someone present that has inside knowledge so knows what I am talking about so it is more a game between myself and them. They would have had to have discussed such things with me before. I wouldn't use it on people that were not familiar with it. That would be a stupid way to communicate, assuming everyone I spoke to knew the inside jokes between my friends and I.

Words are one of the most important things in all of our lives.

Don't you think defending them should be equally important?

If new ideas arise. Give them a new word. Don't hijack an existing one.

Please join me in this battle. If you see them redefining words. Speak up. Say NO.

If they point you to dictionaries then tell them to look at older dictionaries and also refer them to a logical fallacy taught in critical thinking. It is known as the Appeal to Authority (aka Argument From Authority fallacy).

A dictionary is simply a tool created by people. It is useful if you don't know a word to try to learn words. It is made by people though so it is going to be biased. I also haven't seen any process by which a specific dictionary is given authority. In fact, it seems like anyone can make a dictionary. If people like their product they use it.

If the dictionary says what certain groups want it to say they are likely to use that dictionary.

If the definition is changed to appeal to political, and ideological sway then I say that corrupts our history and our thinking. If there are new ideas they deserve new words.

Hopefully I presented this in a way that had meaning. To me this is one of the most important things to be aware of that is currently going on.

I too sometimes use hijacked words until I become aware. Then I try to fight that. I want control of my own mind. I don't want to be a proverbial puppet.


In parting... Science, Racism, Fascism, Nazi, etc. are all words frequently used these days in references to things that do not fit the usage of those words. It is causing dilution and loss of meaning in those words. In some cases they are words we have been conditioned to hate and get angry over so when they use "Racist" for example on someone that didn't say anything about race there is often an almost Pavlovian anger, distrust, and hostility to the target that was labeled. People don't stop to think about whether the label fit. They just let their emotions drive. Science is another word that often is used today on things that have nothing to do with science and are far removed from the scientific method.

WORDS MATTER

Sort:  

Orwell, George. 1974. “Politics and the English Language.” In Propaganda, edited by Robert Jackall, 423–37. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-23769-2_19.

I think that you can find this article on the web elsewhere, if it hasn't been memory holed, but the article is very close to your own thoughts on the matter. Orwell, of course as an ex-leftist, had a close view of the base dishonesty of leftist linguistics.

ESR had a detailed explanation of the Kafka-trap technique used by the left, as well as a description of the "moa-and-baily" type of "debte" they use. I can't find atm, but ESR has a lot of interesting reading at http://esr.ibiblio.org/


Posted via proofofbrain.io

Excellent. Thanks for the links. Now just to find some more time somewhere... Time, hey time, where the hell did I put the rest of the time?

No not Thyme! Time!

rofl

ive got about 3000 links in my zotero database, I may hae fully read about 2000 of them

everthing you read just leads to more reading

I’ve had many arguments with people who call mask wearing, Molotov cocktail throwing, actual ‘leftists’, anarchists.

Media has swayed that word so off kilter that most people assume it means chaos and destruction. When it simply means no rulers.

I appreciate you writing this. Reminded me of a similar post I wrote a while back.

Words are just words. Seems most people today have forgotten that.

I think it is important for people to be aware that dictionaries are something you voluntarily use. They don't actually have any authority and they are created by people. Anyone can create one. Whether or not you can convince people to use it or not is the challenge... yet if you can, and they treat it as authority then you by extension control the language.

This is important to recall when someone tries to retreat to a dictionary in an effort to win an argument.

Goes back to the appeal to authority fallacy. My dad pulled that one on me last week when (after he got the jab and went to the hospital a few days later) it had absolutely nothing to do with the jab, and instead was diagnosed with croup. Yeah, croup. "The doctor said that's what I had, so that's what I had!" I had to remind him that doctors used to recommend certain brand cigarettes to pregnant women, sooooo.....

Words are super important though. I've written posts about Anarchy as well talking about the same thing.

It's also why to me the label Anarcho-Communist has always seemed like an oxymoron. When we refer to rulers that does not mean the "mob" cannot be the rulers.

Words are super important though.

Oh no doubt. By words are just words, I was meaning it in the context of everyone being offended by them. In that they’re just words and literally can cause you no physical harm.

"Sticks and stones" my friend. At one time people understood that.

I walked around my grandkids last week saying "Punch, kick, slam, crash, attack, hurt, etc." I asked them if they were okay when I was done.

None of them were harmed despite the intent of the words. :)

Yeah I can relate

Once I wanted to describe someone to another person, and then I said "That fat man"

The human being cautioned me and told me I am not supposed to describe someone as fat irrespective of their body weight

So I asked, what then would I had said? He answered "Chubby"

Now, he explained that there are emotional conflicts that come with calling people fat. I think it is something called "body shaming". I don't know for sure

so when you said, we give lots of meanings to various words, I remembered this incident, and agreed that you are right


Posted via proofofbrain.io

Good luck with that.

English evolves organically and the meaning of many words has changed, and not just recently. This page for instance notes that audition, commodity, dinner, fine, minority, merry, naughty, nice and silly have very different meanings now than they used to. Another site adds artificial, awful, brave, cheater, fantastic, flirt, girl, guy, nervous, pretty, radical, and sad.

And English has nothing remotely like the Académie Française.

Also... I don't need luck. I just refuse to acknowledge the hijacked meaning. If someone wants to call someone "Racist" who didn't do anything actually race related then I don't have to agree with them. I can also point out that it is wrong. Whether they listen or not. That is up to them. I can also make them seem rather ignorant in the process. I don't start out harsh.

Whether they think about it afterwards and start to think or whether their audience does makes no difference to me. I simply refuse to submit. I do not recognize their authority to change the meaning and expect others to go along with their change.

Yes it evolves. It also can be intentionally manipulated. That doesn't mean we need to blindly acquiesce to it. Especially when it is "EVOLVED" to mean exactly the opposite of the previous meaning.

Can you not see how anyone that learned it after that would have an extreme challenge trying to understand any older documents and knowledge? Sure if they have the will they can learn the other meanings and eventually figure it out. We have to do that in many cases today. Yet I don't know of any historical etymology that has resulted in a word becoming the opposite of itself.

Another example... COOL. It certainly can mean different things. I used to say cool means stupid at times in my youth because the people trying to be cool were often just being stupid. I do get what you are saying...

The question is do you understand what I am saying?

Sorry about the multiple replies. Feel free to reply to all or none of them, consolidate your reply into one, or whatever.

It is also important this be considered when laws are passed based upon the meaning of those laws. If we blindly go along with this then laws that were designed to say target "terrorism", "treason", or "racism" can suddenly be applied to those that they do not fit as the law was intended. They can also then suddenly set those free that they were intended to address.

Are there innocuous words that are not used to oppress people, vilify people, etc. that change over time. Yes.

Yet I know your are intelligent enough that you know exactly what I was and am referring to.

HIVE!D
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Tell me a bit about the video. Only so much time in the day. I read way faster than watching videos. I will watch them but I kind of need to know why... :)

Its the Trivium method of working with words on three levels. Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric.
Very relatable to your post.
Great article BTW...
Highest regards!

Thanks. I will check it out when I get a moment.

No worries... You got enough on your plate. I was just marking this post in the comment section as it is currenty FEATURED on the front page of my blog as an excellent article... Until i find a better one to re-HIVE as a top post 😎🥓 which could be any moment... Which is why i marked this page with a few comments.

HIVE!ON Bruv! High regards for the work 👍

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