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semantics and censorship...seduction..

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posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 02:20 PM
Intresting thing happened at work last week.

One of the guys in my crew asked the question. Why is a black person a African American. An Indian a Native American etc etc ..Mexican American etc etc??

Why cannot all these people be just Americans??? For some unknown reason he found this concept disturbing sufficient that he voiced his concern in the midst of all of us.

I considered his concern for awhile and voiced my opinion.

The reason is....... censorship.....also sometimes today deceitefully called "political correctness."

The manner in which this type of censorship works is to identify certain groups and label them for maneuverability in the subsconcious process. By marking you in the gullible media and also the educational/political system you are now identified and fingerprinted mentally..subconsciously, unconciouisly to think in the pattern of a certain group. You identify with this group and thier values...particularly the values of the political party which claims to support this group. By a process of unconcious default you are now a controllable, predictable, gauranteed voter. The political process can pretty much gaurantee how you will spend your money, your vote, your thinking process...and to your children too. Especially if they have reinforced this in public schools on your or your children.

In otherwords this is a rigged polarization.
It is a subtle violation ...seduction of your thinking process. Another value system substituted for your own thinking process and value system. A hijacking.

You are not smart enough to think this through on your own must have this group or that group to substitute your value and thinking system with theirs.

The media is in on it ..the public education system is in on it and the politicians are in on it since they finance public education.

This persons concerns were not without foundation. I do not believe he cared much for my reply but he did not have a answer or response to my statement. Very telling about the thinking process or lack of thinking process.

When you see and identify this process over and over ..on the surface looking different but underneath where it counts all the realize it is the same fingerprint..over and over and over.

But how many people can see this for what it is ...censorship...whoredom.. for political purposes.


posted on Feb, 27 2007 @ 08:07 PM
You cannot separate the observer from the observed.

Our thoughts, and by extension, our language remain our own.

Sure, you can associate negative connotations to certain labels, but the individual will always have the option to inquire beyond. I feel in the cases such as you outline, it is not the language that enslaves, but the lack of willingness to penetrate beneath the surface of such “politically correct” terms. Whose fault is that? I would say it is the fault of the individual.

When you are trying to sell something, be it a political ideology, or a consumer product, you need to identify your target. In this case, models based on such subdivisions seem to be valid. After all, people seem to stick to their own culture and mindset. Because of this, it is safe to make certain assumptions regarding these groups based on experience. For instance, how they spend their money, how the feel about the way the country is being run.

We run into problems when we take models designed for one purpose, and attempt to use them for another altogether. We become so used to banding large groups of people that we do it without thinking.

With this post, you have illustrated that you have the ability to see beyond this. Why would you think that others don’t? We all have the ability to change the way we think at any time we desire. We cannot blame others for the way we think. To me it smacks of laziness.

Where you have a case of mental enslavement via language, change your language:

E-Prime attempts to remove the verb “to be” in all its forms from English: be, is, am, are, was, were, been and being, plus all the contractions. This has the tactical effect of eliminating the passive voice. According to proponents, it forces the writer (or speaker) to think differently, and often results in language that most people find easier to read.


Instead of saying “the grass is green”, say “the grass appears green to me” By doing this, you remove all doubt that the sentiment you are expressing is a subjective one. To you it appears thus, to another, it may be completely different.

This is just one simple example of how making a simple change may completely influence the way you think. Of course, you have to want to change.

It comes down to a simple choice. Are you going to allow yourself to be dictated to by The Powers That Be, and hide behind their flawed teachings, or are you going to break out, recognise yourself as an individual, recognise every other living person as an individual, and take responsibility for your own thoughts?

I do not pretend that I know what I am talking about. These are just thoughts that occurred to me after reading the above post. I hate to see a well written post sitting there with no replies, so there you go.

posted on Feb, 28 2007 @ 01:04 AM
The problem is that many people can not see beyond the words and pharses that have been pounded into them time and time again. Some had political correctness forced and reinforced into them during college years. Some had those thoughts pounded into them during highscool and possibly college. Some had those ideas thrown at them since elementary school.

These politically correct ideas that we are bombarded with in a way become habits. They are seen in every day normal speech, and in what we write. Instead of saying or writing the black person, we say Aferican American whether or not they have any ties back to Africa. We write the people, the person, they, them, he/she. Any one remember what was used before the days of political correctness to refer to a person where the gender was not known or speaking towards a large group of people? In the olden days writers would use the word he.

It was a pain in the but to switch from he to a politically correct prhase as not to "offend women". It became habit, and I now find myself using anything but he when writing. It is as if the word he has become offensive to use in any context except when the individual is identified as a male.

At what point can a person change ideas and thoughts that have become habits through out their years? At what point can these second nature habits viewed as normal be questioned by someone who wouldn't even think of questioning them?

The transitional generation can see and percieve the questions, since we knew a time when it was different? What about a generation that grew up with these habits, and they habits were already instilled in their parents?

Could they see how those words and pharses lock them into a certain way of thinking? Make them associate certain pharses with certain people and expected behaviours? In doing so, their own mind seeminglessly associates associates themselves witht "the right" group of people and seemingly correct behaviours for that group of people.

By associating different behaviours to different groups of people, bigeorty comes about in a seemingless mannor. Whites wonder why the "Aferican Americans" hate whites so much. It was not because of ancerterial slavery. It is because of the political correctness foisted upon us at schools that teach how bad whites were/are towards the blacks. Excuse me, Cucasians and Aferican Americans. Also, the process of how the blacks are grouped together in one unit with the term Aferican American, and the importance of their culture, while the white people are not.

In the political correctness game. It is the groups of people that are given names and preferences that are seen as more important in society than the rest of us.

Also by getting us to identify ourselves with a certain class or group of people, we seem to absent mindedly start to adhere to what is expected with that group of people. Sometimes we think it odd when people step out of their normally catagorized roles for their group such as an Aferican American holding a top CEO position. That person is special and beat all the odds against him.

As you can see, habits are hard to die. Even when I was talking about the male gender, I still used the phrase that person instead of he. It is almost as if the word he has become abhorent somehow. If I didn't remember the switch, I would have never remembered being told that using the old acceptable form he instead of the person was discriminatory against women. Most of what has been previously written, has been written by males, and they saw no problems with using the word he when referincing a person not gender identified. Therefore he should never be used in that way again.

Now, the next generation will more than likely be taught the new politically correct way, and never think another thought towards it. They may never think to question why people are placed in groups, or even realize that by doing so creats walls between the groups that can and more than likely cause anmonisity between those groups. Never to realize that they are being geared to think like their group and "identify" with their groups "culture". If you are not in a "group", then you will be taught that you need to be "tolerant" of others, and to learn about all the "cultures of others".

To them it will be a habit and a normal way of thinking. More than likly they will never think it could be a form of censorship, control, and/or a possible form mind control.

posted on Apr, 14 2007 @ 05:03 AM
to be honest, its not the PC stuff that bothers me the most

its the hypocrisy.

there is the National association for the advancement of colored people
theres the united negro college fund
theres the rainbow coalition
associations for black journalists, firefighters, broadcasters etc
the mexican americans have various organizations

however...some guys in a college go create a scholarship for whites and get BLASTED for it.


what would happen if someone started the national association for the adavncement of white people? we'd get sued.

Imus makes a stupid racial sexist remark and al sharpton starts threatening to boycott and picket if they dont fire him.

sorry al, you may be offended but his job is beteen him and his employer and its not your business.

threatening to boycott and threatening advertisers that you'll boycott them if they dont quit doing business with cbs if they dont fire imus is extortion.

but i digress...the point is that in this age of political correctness all these things are ok, as long as its not whites doing it.

and hypocrisy bugs me almost more than ignorance but they both walk hand in hand to be sure.

sorry this post was kinda all over the place but i kind of feel they are connected.

i agree with tom, why cant we all just be "people"

i spent time in the army and even if i hadnt been raised by a father who woulda beat me senseless for even thinking of using racial slurs, in the army i learned to see people as all being green. your skin color is of no matter to the military and i think tahts the way it should be.

besides. we all bleed red.

posted on Apr, 14 2007 @ 08:36 AM
My mom is 81 and when she was growing up, persons of the darkest skin pigment were called 'colored' - no doubt you guys have heard that before.

And I, personally, don't see skin color as anything other than the main determining factor when choosing SPF #'s
(i need 300+!)

So, when my mom mentions anyone of that hue, she says 'he was a colored man' etc. And so I always say: 'What color was he, mom?'
I'm COLORED, too - more like a pale peach - but color IS color.

NOT to try to change her view (i don't think her words reflect anything other than habit) but I do know that words heard are not always the same as words sent...I think it is an issue, nowadays, of either not paying the 'proper' attention to our words or not paying attention at all.

Words are not everything...yet in a sense they shape our present reality whether we mean what we say or if we don't. Semantics can be unnecessary social bureacracy on one hand but on the other hand, precision in our communications can NEVER harm relations.

just my .02

posted on Apr, 15 2007 @ 10:52 AM
It has been awhile since I made the first post on this thread. It seemed for awhile that no one was going to post back or rebutt.

It is, however, intresting to see by replys as to how many people have noticed this fingerprint in peoples conduct and thinking. THeir views differ according to thier abilitys but I detect that in their own way they notice this fingerprint.

Speaking for myself I find this conditioning technique repulsive when I spot it. I become immediately cautious of some brainwashing/conditioning tentacle reaching out and attempting to steal my unconscious behaviors. I am offended by it.

THis kind of conditioning occurs quite often in the media,politics, and public education with regularity. As I am often quoting ..public education is paid for or financed by the body politic. They are closely related. The media shills for thier respective partys. They are all related.

I become offended when I detect that someone or some group is attempting by such subtilty to emotionallly jerk me off/masterbate me for political purposes/votes. Pardon the crudity but this is how I view it. It is offensive to me. It is no different than a actual sexual violation because I sense that they or someone is trying to steal/hijack my very soul for thier social/political purposes.

Just an expansion on my previous thoughts,

[edit on 15-4-2007 by orangetom1999]

[edit on 15-4-2007 by orangetom1999]

posted on Apr, 16 2007 @ 03:56 AM
All this heartburn comes from people trying to pretend the differences between us don't exist. Or trying to pretend the differences don't matter and that we should somehow ignore them.

As if some people weren't black and others white or yellow or brown. As if some people weren't tall and others short. As if some weren't healthy and others sick. As if some weren't crippled and others whole. As if some weren't women and others men. As if some weren't queer and some weren't straight. As if some weren't strong and others weak. As if some weren't clever and others stupid. As if some weren't good people and some weren't bad.

The fact is that such differences exist and even a child can see them. That is because they are important to people; they determine our expectations from and behaviour towards others. Because they are so important we have words for them. If we don't use these words, it is because we're frightened of them. More fool us.

Nobody is the same as anybody else. All humans are unique.

No-one is equal to anyone else, either, that's just a social-engineering fantasy enshrined in the American Constitution.

We are all different, all unequal and, like it or not, we recognize and acknowledge these facts tacitly in the way we interact with others. That's how social pecking orders arise. And it is in our nature to create and sustain them. It is a trait we share with all social animals.

Maybe it would be good for everyone to be equal and for all differences between people to be ignored. But what a dull anthill of a world it would be then.

posted on Apr, 17 2007 @ 01:13 PM
It is quite clear that your language faculties are more extensive than just a four letter word vocabulary. Well said in your post.

As to semantics..or the use and misuse of words to seduce...I was taught some years ago by some elders that most people anymore in fact have a vocabulary of mostly four letter words. A vocabulary of some 1000 to 1200 words and most of them four letter. Our ability to communicate an idea..a concept from one to another outside of some "feeling" we have is very limited. So when someone uses or misuses a word it is very easy for us to get the wrong impression or message and be put on a string by those trained in this technique.
It is also my clear understanding by having read books over a hundred years back in being published, that these people back then ..those who could read and write...had a very good command of the English language. Also an extensive vocabulary. I envy them this education.
It is my belief in certain instances that this is deliberate and done by the media and our leaders...for some purpose.
I can reacall when we in fact had in our leadership real orators who could use language very well. Not so anymore. It seems to me that anymore they play mostly to our emotions and with very base language skills. I greatly dislike this technique when I spot it. I use the term drama queens to describe this technique.

Thanks for your post,

[edit on 17-4-2007 by orangetom1999]

posted on Apr, 19 2007 @ 09:00 PM
Years ago I read how the Innuit people had over 70 words for snow and ice conditions and not one single word for "war". War was not in their vocabulary and therefore did not exist. It was not a concept-how could it be? There wasn't even a word to describe the concept.

People's minds can be changed by changing their vocabulary. What exists can be eradicated by eradicating the word for it.

Consider the colloquialism: "that's a BAD..." to describe that which is prized, valued and greatly appreciated. Our view of what is "bad" is slowly being changed to mean "good". Now how will we describe that which is truly bad?

Also, I've noticed a verbal trend toward the use of superlatives to describe the ordinary. Example: I buy a new pair of shoes and show them off to my friend. She says, "those are FANTASTIC". They are only a piece of utilitarian footwear but her appreciation of them is expressed as being footwear that is beyond the viewers believability. How can shoes (or any other mundane items) be beyond believability? Another example: "I'm starved!" when you are only 30 minutes late for lunch. Making everything a superlative detracts from and diminishes the emotional impact of things that truly are superlative. We become immune to the sensational because we're subtly (and continually) bombarded with "the latest, the greatest, the biggest, the amazing", etc.

I saw an advertisement by a car dealership in which they were lowering the prices to an "insane" level. They pronounced themselves "insane" and then invited one and all to come buy a car. I do not care to have any financial dealings with insane people no matter how reasonably priced their merchandise.

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that notices these subtle changes in our thinking via language.

Oh, and the last time someone introduced themselves to me as a "Native American", I politely greeted them and introduced myself as a W.A.S.P. American. (I, too, have a Cherokee heritage although I suspect I come from a long line of fence-jumpers). Trying to get people to think outside the cultural indoctrination of pablum with which we've all been spoon-fed our entire lives can be risky business.

posted on Apr, 20 2007 @ 03:05 AM
Your post, whitewave is thoughtfully written and obviously the result of much observation and consideration. Your conclusions, however, are incorrect.

Originally posted by whitewave
Years ago I read how the Innuit people had over 70 words for snow and ice conditions and not one single word for "war".

This is not true. It is just an urban legend. In fact,

Contrary to popular belief, the Eskimos do not have more words for snow than do speakers of English. Counting generously, experts can come up with about a dozen.

-- Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct

Here is a detailed expert discussion of the issue by Anthony Woodbury of the University of Texas at Austin.

And here is a more entertaining one.

But to get serious, and consider the point of your post:

People's minds can be changed by changing their vocabulary. What exists can be eradicated by eradicating the word for it.

This is known as 'linguistic relativism'. As an idea, it dates back to the German diplomat, philosopher and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt (not to be confused with his brother, the great explorer and scientist Alexander von Humboldt:

Language is the formative organ of thought. Intellectual activity, entirely mental, entirely internal, and to some extent passing without trace, becomes through sound, externalized in speech and perceptible to the senses. Thought and language are therefore one and inseparable from each other.

-- Wilhelm von Humboldt

The most popular version of linguistic relativism is called the Whorfian Hypothesis, after its originator Benjamin Whorf.

The Whorfian hypothesis can therefore be summarized as follows:

(1) Different languages utilize different semantic representation systems which are informationally non-equivalent (at least in the sense that they employ different lexical concepts);

(2) semantic representations determine aspects of conceptual representations;


(3) users of different languages utilize different conceptual representations.

Supporting evidence for this is awfully thin, however; most of it is drawn from anthropology, a dubious discipline at the best of times. In fact (again, see Pinker, op. cit.), most evidence from neuroscience mostly points to it not being true.

The author of the 'Cultural Anthropology' link cited above attempts to make the case for the Whorfian hypothesis as well and as honourably as possible, yet its evidential weakness when compared with the hypotheses of Chomsky, Pinker et al. is still rather obvious in the discussion.

I think it's appropriate to leave the last word to a linguist:

It is a dangerous jump from the observation that two languages provide different ways of talking about a given subject matter to the conclusion that the speakers of those languages think of that subject matter in distinct ways.

-- Paul Kay

posted on Apr, 20 2007 @ 06:00 AM
The source quoted by Woodbury admits that his counting is "arbitrary at best" and the "entertaining" source counts over 90 words and lists them. Inflection of spoken words in some languages (Chinese,etc.) can change the meaning of the word entirely or put the same word in a different context altering the meaning.

At any rate, the point still stands that language affects the way we think. Changes in the meanings of words changes our thinking of those words.
For example: in M.E., the word "hell" meant to cover or bury; such as helling potatoes, helling your roof. Slowly it evolved to include burial of the dead. Religious institutions of the day ran (amok) with this meaning and attached a significance to the word it had never had before: a place of eternal torment for the dead.

How many people today know that the word "hell" simply means "grave" or "burial"? How has our thinking, cultural, and religious practices changed based on the (bastardized) meaning of this one word alone?

posted on Apr, 22 2007 @ 01:27 AM

How good to see your post on this topic. Once again you have me chuckling to myself here. You too have obvious possesion of more than a four letter word vocabulary...thank goodness.
It is very easy for those skilled in the trade to use or misuse a word to get others to take on conduct which is not thier own.
Your example here is textbook.

Consider the colloquialism: "that's a BAD..." to describe that which is prized, valued and greatly appreciated. Our view of what is "bad" is slowly being changed to mean "good". Now how will we describe that which is truly bad?

As I understand the vocabulary this is the difference in what is denoted and what is connoted. Something literal as in denoted and in connoted ...something implied which may not be literal but seemingly making good sense. Logical or even reasonable..not necessarily that which is true.

I agree about the use of superlatives. To me this is so as to get us on the bandwagon.

I dont want to be bombarded by superlatives in everything so that I am emotionally overdone. Tapped out on this drivel to the point I need the next superlative to keep me through the day. To me they become meaningless after to much of this exposure.

My emotions are a very private and personal thing and only shared with those to whom I choose. I dont want someone making merchandize of me by this emotional technique...for any reason. When I become aware of it..this becomes a type of emotional violation to me. This technique, to me, cheapens so much around a manner and goal for which I dont believe many people are aware. It is seduction.

lol lol ..funny about the W.A.S.P. I shall borrow that and remember to explain the next time I have to suffer that very drivel..and state that I am a Heinz 57.

Thanks and good to see your posts again.


[edit on 22-4-2007 by orangetom1999]

[edit on 22-4-2007 by orangetom1999]

posted on Apr, 23 2007 @ 02:04 AM

Originally posted by whitewave
The source quoted by Woodbury admits that his counting is "arbitrary at best"

You seem more than intelligent and educated enough to decipher what is meant by that, and to realize that multiple verb conjugations or noun declensions do not count as different words: the words 'are' and 'been' may not be the same word, but the have the same meaning, being simply different conjugations of the infinitive 'to be'. Woodbury counts multiple declensions of nouns with the same meaning as different words; such a count would support your proposition only in the most technical sense and certainly does not support your argument.

The "entertaining" source counts over 90 words and lists them.

Read them again, and count how many of them are joke words invented by the author of the list.

Inflection of spoken words in some languages (Chinese, etc.) can change the meaning of the word entirely.

Chinese languages are pitched. A word that we would spell 'ma' means 'horse'. Another word that we would spell 'ma' means 'mother'. But these are not, to a Chinese, the same word, nor are they represented in writing by the same ideogram.

At any rate, the point still stands that language affects the way we think. Changes in the meanings of words changes our thinking of those words.

Indeed it does not. Your 'hell' example just shows how meaning and usage vary over time. It illustrates no connexion with the way people think; you're just giving an example of how languages evolve.

There's a fairly substantial rearguard of academics in the humanities fighting to preserve the position you subscribe to. It's vital to the preservation of their careers because, should it fail, the postmodernist sacred cow of the world as social construct, already suffering from near-terminal brucellosis, will just keel over and die, exposing them for the envious, ignorant frauds they are. Good riddance to them, say I; but of course you may feel differently.

posted on Apr, 23 2007 @ 07:28 AM
I was thinking about your discription of the origins of the word Hell..

For example: in M.E., the word "hell" meant to cover or bury; such as helling potatoes, helling your roof. Slowly it evolved to include burial of the dead. Religious institutions of the day ran (amok) with this meaning and attached a significance to the word it had never had before: a place of eternal torment for the dead.

How many people today know that the word "hell" simply means "grave" or "burial"? How has our thinking, cultural, and religious practices changed based on the (bastardized) meaning of this one word alone?

It has been some time since I read of this usage or definition but I recall the term heeling to mean to cover a roof ..or to shoe...cover by shoeing...
I can understand the concept of evolving to include burial of the dead.

It occurs to me in a long view that hell as we often use it today is what happens when language is run amok unchecked or undefined. Another way of saying it is misused. Our nation and people are overcome..covered up by ignorance and wildlife with predictable results. We seem to have lost some of the anchor that is provided by good language skills. Are we burying/helling this too??


[edit on 23-4-2007 by orangetom1999]

posted on Apr, 23 2007 @ 06:45 PM
Give it up, Astyanax. Yes, languages evolve but so does our thinking in relation to the use of that word. In the example I gave of the word, "hell", what was your first thought when you saw the word? Did you think of burying potatoes? Did you even consider thatching a roof or shoeing a horse? If so, you're probably the only person on this site who did. Congratulations.

Most people who see or hear that word have a knee-jerk response, immediately associating it with religious connotations. Most people will have just a twinge of concern that they might not be worthy to escape such a place of eternal torment, never considering whether such a place even exists. It does not. The word "hell" is not a place yet the great majority of Christendom BELIEVES it to be so because language has "evolved" and people have forgotten the original meaning, creating an imaginary place that affects people's daily activities.

I was told by a Cantonese speaking woman that the ideogram for "eye" is the same ideogram as "wood". (I can't confirm or deny this as I don't speak, read or write any form of the Chinese language; however, I feel confident you'll provide an entertaining and arbitrary source for me.)

O.T., misuse of language in almost all informal conversations has been a pet-peeve of mine for some time and I'm glad to see you bring this topic to light. I quit listening to G.W. Bush speeches because that man just butchers the English language (mainly with his stupidity but also with his inappropriate verbage). It pains me to hear him.

The English language as it is spoken informally is full of violence and we do seem to be a violent people. For example: sporting teams never just "win" a game, they "crush their opponents". They "pulverize", "blast", even "kill" the competition. I heard a fellow nurse say, "my feet are killing me!" After looking quickly at her feet, my first thought was, "good grief! are they made of uranium?" There may be cases in which some body part is literally "killing" you such as a failing kidney, a liver rotting with cirrhosis, etc. but usually, one's feet, back, or knees will not cause your ultimate demise.

I heard some teenage girls in the mall talking about some boy they apparently didn't know except by sight, saying, "oh! he's to die for!" Unless that boy was some very loved relative, I sincerely doubt any of them would have died for him (and perhaps not even then).
If you are mildly irked by someone you like committing some trifling injury (eating the last donut in the bag) you jokingly say, "i'm gonna kick your a**" Would any of us really be willing to engage in physical combat over such a small and insignificant insult? Of course not, so why do we say it?
Think of how much violence our language conveys and then consider the source of the stories on the nightly news.
"Drop dead."/ Eat s*** and die./ Go to h***./ I'll kill you!/ I've heard each of these things said in a "joking" manner but words have meanings. Meanings convey thoughts and emotions. Inflection is sort of a sublanguage and modifies the thoughts or emotions conveyed. Still, I have to ask if any of you smiled or laughed when you read those words? They were spoken (originally) as a joke after all.

Good topic, O.T. I enjoy hearing you speak your mind.

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 01:58 AM

Originally posted by whitewave
Give it up, Astyanax. Yes, languages evolve but so does our thinking in relation to the use of that word. In the example I gave of the word, "hell", what was your first thought when you saw the word? Did you think of burying potatoes? Did you even consider thatching a roof or shoeing a horse?

You persist in your misapprehension.

I freely admit I don't think of burying potatoes, thatching roofs or shoeing horses when I hear the word 'hell'. I don't suppose many modern folk do.

However, the point you are attempting to make is not that words change their meanings over time (which we both accept) but that the use of a word with a particular meaning or meanings has a psychological effect on the user or auditor that is in some way derived from the meaning or meanings of the word used. And that, as I have explained, is a proposition without a scrap of good scientific evidence to back it up.

By the way, the colloquialisms you quote in your last post are all of American origin. Their use, however, does not predispose Americans to violence; it merely reflects the intrinsic violence of their society.

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 06:35 AM
link our language and especially sports. I agree. I wonder if this is why for many years now sports has little to no intrest for me? I am just not intrested in two opposing teams brutalizing themselves...or making themselves expendable in this manner.

So now days we even do violence to our language!!!??

When I type my thoughts out for this post ..."doing violence to" makes me automatically think of what comes out of many automobile stereos when you are stopped at a red light. It literally and spiritually is doing violence to the language and others also stopped at the red light.

I will admit to the the tendency to use the term you described "My feet are killing me." However I feel prefectly justified now days in using this expression as I spent most of last night standing on top of a nuclear reactor. I chuckled when I read this part of your post.

My greatest failing is from time to time ...ahhhhhh...ok..lets call it colourful language. I have been working on this for years. It is very easy to fall back into olde habits but I am working on it. Especially in times of stress or is very easy to fall back into the olde ways. This type of "colourful language" is very common in the shipyard where I work.
I have learned to take note of it and it has helped me in this regard though on occasion, I tend to slip back into the olde ways. I like to think I can do better than this or language at a newspaper level but it can be difficult.

Thanks for your post,

posted on May, 9 2007 @ 09:41 PM
Since it was insinuated in an earlier post that I was a horse, I'm going to "nag" about this point of words causing psychological effects.
George Carlin once did a parody on this very subject that was, like all good comedy, enlightning.

If you are in a restaurant and the server asks you, "would you like a cocktail?", you would nonchalantly order your favorite adult beverage. If some smelly bum, approaches you with his hand on his crotch and, with slurred speech says, "ya wanna Cocktail?", you'd slap his face and make a hasty exit. Both people asked the same question, basically used the same words and sentence structure but the meaning was changed by the circumstances, inflection, surroundings, etc.

When we hear on the nightly news that someone has been labeled a "terrorist" do we not reflexively think of 911 or some foreign-speaking, religious zealot with a car bomb? Well, think again. The word is now being bandied about to describe 5 year olds who punch their rival classmates in the arm during recess. As this behavior continues we will eventually be conditioned to turn a blind eye to our neighbors being rounded up and hauled away in the night because the explanation that they are "terrorists" will be sufficient for us to mentally condemn them and morally excuse ourselves from ascertaining the truth of the matter on their behalf.

Since the "WAR" on drugs, poverty, illiteracy, etc. ad nauseum began have we even won any of the Battles? HOW does one wage war on poverty? Who is the enemy? What are the weapons of warfare? Has anyone outlined a strategy, battle plan, delineated a DMZ? I haven't heard any updates in several years. How ARE we faring in that little skirmish?

The war on illiteracy? How is it even possible to have a young mind that soaks up information like a sponge every day for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week for 12 YEARS become someone who can't read or write their name? For such a system to be in place can only mean that the young minds are being deliberately kept illiterate. I think the war on illiteracy is actually a war on LITERACY!

When I hear these types of "logic" spouted I'm reminded of George Orwell's book in which the chocolate bar rations were cut in half and the propaganda machine publically announced that "chocolate rations are UP!" Everyone looked at their smaller chocolate bars, paused in confused silence for a moment, then cheered wildly for the "increased" amount of chocolate rations. When I heard that we were going to become "a kinder, gentler nation" while fighting Desert Storm, I thought to myself, "chocolate rations are UP!" but I didn't cheer. I don't know why......

posted on May, 9 2007 @ 10:40 PM
It seems to me that words and language are ever evolving, and have been for a countless length of time. We can trace language backwards, but never well chart it's future. As we mortals span a finite morsel of time, so too does our manner of expressing ourselves. As we are not static, bound in place and immortal, neither are our words. As we change from generation to generation, so too our utterances.

The battle to stabilize usage is an old one, and futile. From the Indus Valley to Windsor Castle, it has been a meandering road. And I speak as an oldster when I say that all we elders can do is fight a rearguard action, retreating slowly into senility, where we can talk with eloquence to ourselves.

The next generation define themselves by the changes they can make, and the easiest battles are won on the field of word meaning and pronunciation. As the new users slowly come to outnumber us rutted and weary slaves to past glory, our fight is lost.

For your pleasure might I recommend: The Adventure of English, The Biography of a Language, by Melvyn Bragg.

Bon appetit.

posted on Jun, 11 2007 @ 10:59 PM
etimology and ever "evolving" language.

I find etymology to be fascinating and often gives me new insight to language though not always in a direct way. I do notice that in the long run knowing something about the historical derivation of a word seems to help me in understanding some nuances about the English language of which did not previously occur. This concept many not make sense to many and I may not even be correctly explaining it. I just sense, at some semi conscious level, that knowing something about the history and origin of words helps give one more perspective on this world and he nature of things in well as better communicating ability.
I also like working crossword puzzles in the daily newspaper thought I must admit that the times I have worked the puzzles from the New York Times or Washington Post I need more language skills. These puzzles require a more extensive language capacity than I presently have without a dictionary. Nonetheless I find once again in a indirect way that the crossword puzzles seem to help ones skills and thinking. Makes me wonder about the mental capacity of those who invent the next crossword puzzle. It must take some skill.

As to language evolving I dont always think so. Some appears to be so because it surrounds a certain skill or the new influx of computer related terms and words which have recently taken over our daily language. I dont necessarily consider this evolving as much as adaptation. With the next invention the language will change again.

I refer to language evolution more as what one sees in a complete Oxford unabridged version of the English Language. Now this is a dictionary. One mostly sees these types of dictionarys at public librarys. They are huge and also expensive but contain lots of historical language information.

It seems that even the basic Websters Collegate Dictionary is going downhill. Some of them I have seen at work no longer have the etimology in them. What a let down. The etymology is a feature of a dictionary for which I automatically seek when researching a word.

Thanks to all for thier posts,

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