“War of The Words”

I apologize if this post sounds too technical or is too lengthy, but I hope it’s worth the patience to read! I highly recommend clicking some of the links as they provide more background info, or are really fascinating reads! I love scholarly works and hope my post reflects this 🙂

How powerful are the words we use? Do they control us, or do we have more control over words than we think? These are questions that social scientists such as anthropologists, linguists, and more pertinent to us, politicians (Think how to best convince us to vote for them!) want to answer. As many of my more frequent readers may know, I’m big into science and history! And my passion extends its influence into my thoughts, opinions and reasoning on the issues I address often in A Lady of Reason. Recently, I read some articles on the power of words and how language shapes our perceptions of the world around us from an anthropological and linguistic point of view. While some were great and insightful reads for all, others were disappointingly partisan and a jab at conservatives. I wanted to explore some ideas I thought of in light of reading some of these articles, but first, a key premise:

In linguistic studies and anthropology, a revolutionary theory was proposed by several scholars, most famously Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf. Well known in the scholarly community as “Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis” (That being a misnomer as they never actually collaborated together on such an idea), it is basically the idea that the structure and words of a language have a profound influence on how you perceive the world and how you think. See, ideas, concepts and ways of looking at the world you think are just a part of reality, such as color perceptions, how we categorize things, numbers, and even the concept of time, can vary culture to culture! How do we know they don’t think like we might? The evidence is in the grammar and vocabulary of their languages. Now, critics have said that perhaps Whorf especially went a bit too far in his theory and edged into a sort of linguistic determinism, that is, language dictates what we are capable of thinking, but a more moderate interpretation still holds sway. After all, who can deny that words have great power over our minds?

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This shows an example of how a different culture can think differently about the same thing than we may think of it…  From the article “Science and Linguistics”, originally published in the MIT Technology Review, 1940. (Wikipedia)

And every propagandist knows that! Every great orator, politician, journalist and others know that words matter a great deal in how we perceive what they want to get across. “Actions speak louder than words”, but so does tone, as the other saying goes, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it” 😉 How is all this relevant to us one might ask? The short answer: Political correctness and the idea of “hate speech” as an exception to the 1st amendment.

Controlling and regulating our language is not a new thing. Every tyrannical regime has censored what people could say, and by extension, dare to think. Hitler did it, Communist Russia did it, Mao did it, and every dictator in between since antiquity! Orwell’s 1984 called it out in his concept of “news speak” in the dystopian novel where certain words were forbidden or more flattering euphemisms to steer your mind to different perceptions of the concepts encoded replaced other words. While we’re not in such a stark dystopia, there’s no doubt that certain words are, ahem, “undesirable”…

You must not say “illegal”, now it’s “undocumented”.

You must not say “retarded”, now it’s “intellectual disability”

You must not say “Muslim terrorist”, it’s now “extremist” or “terrorist” alone…

These are only some of many other examples I welcome you to share with us in the comments! The reasons behind these prohibitions are that the words are argued to be pejorative, or inaccurate. However, they do reflect the truth, or a valid usage of the word. “Illegal” refers to one’s illegal status in the country and is accurate, but is decried as dehumanizing, when in reality, it’s not about one’s humanity, but one’s immigration status! Saying “undocumented” has connotations and implies that the person is justifiably in the country, but is merely not officially recorded as a legitimate member. The political implications are profound for immigration debates.

The word “retarded”, not the insult, but the term used in medicine, was a legitimate usage of the word and was not pejorative. Nor were the terms idiot, imbecile and moron respectively until they too became out of fashion and “retarded” the new enlightened word! One can argue it is outdated and has taken on and pejorative meaning, but aren’t we just on a big euphemism treadmill, just replacing one term after another in a never ending cycle? No, saying someone is less intelligent or “not all there in the head” is not a nice thing, but the truth hurts sometimes… When do we stop trying to replace word after word after word for it?

In my last example, related to my first, if one refers to terrorists who are Muslim and did it out of religious (or Islamic, to put it frankly) extremism, then isn’t “Muslim” a pertinent modifier? Of course, the omission has more to do with politics than accuracy again… Charged terms in other debates too, such as “pro-choice” and “pro life” as opposed to pro- or anti- abortion, can bring on more of a squabble about terminology than the ideas themselves being debated. Words in summary, do greatly affect how we are swayed in these issues, more than we admit to think.

Another issue too in the Left’s “war of the words” revolves around more benign terminology, such as names for groups of people not meant to be pejorative, but were deemed so by the PC police! “Indian” is now “Native American”. You cant say “tribe” anymore to describe a more simple society of people then a nation or civilization. “Oriental” is also now un PC… Also common phrases and sayings, such as:

“Boys will be boys”

“America is a land of opportunity”

“That’s retarded”

“Like a girl”

“That’s so gay”

Among many others! Now deemed pejorative, sexist, racist, ablest, homophobic etc… they were once not thought of as any of those things, and used by all in society. Only after the Left deemed them un PC were they whined about and given much more negative meanings. Yes, language does change, and evolves, but the natural evolution of a language versus a social agenda are two very different things, and the Left by actively prohibiting such words seems to be doing the latter!

Words also hold great sway when they truly are meant to be pejorative, too! These words, the Left says, are soul crushing and demoralizing agents that oppress minorities, women, gays and many others! However, why is this? Apparently it’s now deemed false and un PC to say “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt you…”, but I still think there is truth to this.

Going back to linguistics, there is solid evidence words have power over how we perceive our world and things within it, but they also point out that words are merely sounds; morphemes, phonemes, syllables, strung together to make sense of our world. Those gibberish noises coming from our vocal cords are only given any meaning whatsoever by us humans who speak such sounds! To put it bluntly: Words are what we say they mean, including their connotations good or bad. It’s a key rule in fighting those school bullies, you let their insults get to you, they win as you give them power!

YOU decide how hurtful a word is to you. So does your community. If you let a slur, which is basically just another silly insult hurled by bullies, just bigger ones, crush your soul and intimidate and demoralize you, they win! The Left’s idea that a slur can hurt you like a knife or a bullet, is merely another control tactic to make one identify as a passive victim, rather than a victor. Take the linguists’ view to heart: Words are merely sounds assigned to concepts to talk about our world. That includes slurs. Something is only powerful when others give it power! Words only mean what we let them! Why let the bullies win, on the playground, or in the wider world?

Overall, this presents sort of a linguistic contradiction: Words shape our perception of the world greatly, yet we are in complete control of what they mean. Seems illogical, but I argue they are not mutually exclusive. Not when you think of it in terms that by determining what we let words mean, we control how we will then think! Your language does color your perception of the world, but unlike linguistic determinism, we are not the passive recipients of such control, but can be active choosers in what we will think by controlling the language that controls us! 🙂 In essence, we control how we look at the issues pressing to us, through the terms we use, what we value in society, the worldview we want to create for our society and so on.

Image result for sapir whorf hypothesis diagrams
It’s like its own feedback loop…

In the right minds with the right words, shaping language is an amazing tool for progress, while in the wrong minds, leads to dictatorships, tyranny and disarray. The Left is in a battle to control what we can say, and by extension think. Using words as weapons, are working to socially engineer our minds and those after us! Now, both sides of course, can do it to each other, but the key is to let both sides use the words they feel are needed and not censor one side as this then smites that view of the world.

The Left wants to do just that, smite our view of the world. To make sure our side is presented in harsh terms while theirs is glossed over by flowery euphemisms hiding unpleasant truths, or an agenda is pushed by omitting a phrase they deem against it to be racist, sexist etc….  Just like how a lost language is also a lost culture, an entire worldview lost to oblivion, so will be our view if censored through terminology and language. More to the point, as some cultures deemed other languages and cultures not worthy of being part of the richness of humanity, and wiped out, isn’t it the same when our language, terminology, and ideas by extension, are also deemed not worthy of being spoken and thought of?

Never underestimate the power of your voice fellow patriots, and how you can through your words, help shape your world! 

Image result for conservatives speak up cartoon

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41 thoughts on ““War of The Words”

  1. An example of word reused for power is Nazi. People don’t like Nazis so it is useful and the left will label the right Nazis.

    They ignore that Hitler was socialist that didn’t like the church at all. He only tolerated the church in Germany to exist if it aligned with his ideas and the preachers that opposed him were placed in prison. So only those that followed his ideas could exist.

    Only ideas like this come from the left where there are talks of deeming things hate speech if they don’t align with the current left ideas of the day. I leave out mentioning any idea of the left as an example because it is irrelevant. The left is about an idea they feel must be followed by everyone and it doesn’t have to be true.

    On the right there is still a respect for science and truth

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  2. “…Does “fake news” tell anything like it is? Are “alternative facts” real facts, or the opposite of reality?…”
    Is this writer actually trying to make a coherent point or just venting? If this is a defense of the media against leftist bias and distortion then the writer hasn’t been paying attention to the media and likely is so far to the left that he has fallen off of the edge.

    “Meanwhile no one looks to see alternative facts are politically correct bits of fake news….”
    Alternative facts are politically correct bits of fake news? This sentence is even less coherent than the previous paragraph and that’s an accomplishment.

    “Now, you all say that being politically correct is a way to try and control people’s minds?”
    Use of the term “politically correct” to deride the left’s attempt to control debate via it’s imposition of controlling terminology is a resistance to control not an attempt to impose control. Note also that whoever originated the term “politically correct”, the left gleefully has adopted the term and uses it without embarrassment or apology.

    “I do not agree with many euphemisms, they seem to be mainly used by religious people who don’t want to talk about sex or death or domestic violence or a lot of other natural actions like pissing and shitting.”
    Interesting that this writer classes domestic violence along with “other natural functions…” such as excretion. I am hesitant to speculate on what sort of world view that indicates. As regards euphemisms for excretory functions, I fail to see how they are intended to control or, in effect, do control political debate. I’m not aware that there are pro or anti- excretion factions on the political scene (I doubt that the antis would hold out long), so it would seem that use of euphemisms in that regard would be neutral. What is the point of mentioning them here? The writer’s claim that the use of hate-filled, racist pejoratives makes for a divisive society, is a projection of the left’s faults onto the right. The left is quick to brand anything that they disagree with as hate speech and racist and to use terms such as “bully” or “Nazi” for anyone who disagrees with them. That sounds pejorative to me.

    “Words that start fights that lead to pain, suffering, and DEATH are not peaceful words. They are the same old hate-filled, hurt-filled words that have driven the human race to kill each other for centuries and millennia. We don’t need such language anymore, such words.”
    The call for gentler language and gentle peaceful words that join people together is nothing but the demand that everyone toe the leftist line and do what they are told or else. Submission is peaceful but if you are going to have independent thought, you must have robust and frank debate. That means that one side doesn’t get to dictate terms.

    “See you in hell.”
    What a fitting end to a post decrying hate-filled words. As I recall, the term “climate change” replaced “global warming” after global warming seminars kept getting canceled because of snowstorms. They had to take out “warming” because it sounded too embarrassing even for the left. The gratuitous and hysterical introduction of “climate change” into the thread is further illustration that the writer is just venting rather than trying to convince anyone of anything. The hypocrisy of posting a profanity and pejorative filled rant decrying “hate speech” is risible. I treat this as just another snowflake meltdown typical of the tantrums that the left throws when encountered by logical, scholarly and reasoned arguments such as the Lady of Reason posted.

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  3. “No power in society, no hardship in your condition can depress you, keep you down, in knowledge, power, virtue, influence, but by your own consent.” –William Ellery Channing

    I submit that words and expressions carry no weight unless you grant them validity. It’s unlikely a tall person would get offended at being called ‘shorty’. And if the statement is true, where’s the offense in pointing out the obvious?

    But I do think it’s inappropriate to keep refer to those having no ties to India as “Indians”. Columbus clearly made a mistake in misidentifying native Americans, and doubling down on that error seems childish, if not outright churlish.

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    • I think so too to an extent, on the basis of accurate terminology but not political correctness… What persuaded me to keep the term around was it’s been so commonly used as such, and can have two meanings, like orange the fruit and orange the color… Also, another person I asked why he still said “Indian” instead of Native American brought up the question to me about how far does one have to go to qualify as “native”… If we really want to go back to our very existence, the current theory is humanity is indigenous to Africa and only later migrated elsewhere 😉 I now alternate between the two terms depending on if I want to convey a subtle nuance in my writing either way, as the two words can have different connotations too… “Indian” sounds more historical and old-timey whereas Native American sounds more contemporary.

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  4. I’m just saying my words are no different from your words, and I was responding to your readers/commentors as much or more than I was responding to you, though yes I was responding to you too. So, because I am an atheist I am supposed to let all your sentiments go unchallenged? If you had not attacked the leftists/ dems, or had at least acknowledged as Jim tried to that both sides are playing the game, I may not have lost my cool. Well, I had enough of right wing/repubs/racists etc telling native people to go back to the reservations, or Islamists to go back to the Arab world, and asylum-seekers to go back to wherever they came from to last me a lifetime. This posts and the comments made to it was the straw that broke this camel’s back. You may think it was directed mainly at you if you like, but it has been building ever since darling trumpo got elected POTUS. Today was the day I exploded. But I am not about to apologize. This world will be better off after we humans kill ourselves…

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    • No (non)apologies needed…😂 We all have strong opinions and you could argue I was harsh on you in return. I need some dissent on my blog, just not personal attacks on anyone and ad hominems. However also know I too stand by the views I argue in here and also will not apologize for them. I’m glad we can still debate and you haven’t written me off, but just know now this is a side we will butt heads on. Feel free to come back and engage with my commenters and me, but at your own risk, we take no prisoners 😉 Nothing personal though …

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      • Lol. Life is a risk. But it seems you and I are on opposite sides of the political scale. I am so far left the socialists in Canada won’t lay claim to me, and neither would the old Communist Party. I do not believe in government at all. I call myself a Responsible Anarchist, not like the anarchists of old, but someone who believes we are all capable of governing ourselves responsibly, and do not need to be told how to live, or where.
        Thanks to the 3 Gs of god, gold, and government we have had our natural abilities taken away from us, especially our right to be self-responsible, and everything that attaches to that. I would love to hear where on the political scale you see yourself. Me, I’m not even in the stadium.

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      • Funny… You sound libertarian, as they too do not like any government, or very minimal govn’t. But they have a more conservative bent. I identify as conservative because most of my views line up with them, minus the religious aspect of some. I embrace many traditional values of family and roles as many religious conservatives do, but on secular grounds. I wrote several articles on such subjects. My question to you is, why do you see yourself as so far Left, that even fellow Lefties think you’re out there? Your open mindedness to not write me off and get “triggered” by real debate betrays some of that image, as I usually encounter more closed minded liberals….

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      • Lol. It is exactly because of where I stand that I am able to see the worth of everyone (except your potus). All living beings are important to me, we all share one thing, life. Without life none of us can be here, or anywhere. But that is the extreme for me, I cannot go beyond that except to say we humans are not capable of seeing all living beings. I know that things that look non-living to us may have life in them. It is not up to them to show us that life, it is up to us to learn how to see it. I also believe that all living beings are connected in what I call spirituality, something that does not need a god or other superbeing to exist. And I believe these things because I have experienced them. I have studied them. And I have come to my own understanding of them, which is something very few humans can see. But I do not see this as making me in anyway superior, just different. We are all on life journeys, and my journey has brought me to where I am today.
        And that is why I see myself so far afield. I dare to go where few others can even dare to imagine.
        But I like where I am, for all that. I am not alone, though I sometimes experience loneliness. There are few people I can talk to about this without being pooh-poohed, or told I am insane. The thing is, I see myself as unsane, rather than insane.
        And I think I will leave this conversation here for now. I see that you have checked out my blog–thank you for your interest–so I must move on to your next comments. Ask any questions you like, I will answer them as honestly as I know how.

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  5. I find it amazing how only leftists or dems come up with politically correct terms, while the rightists or repubs are the ones to tell it like it is. Does “fake news” tell anything like it is? Are “alternative facts” real facts, or the opposite of reality? Of course, it is only them political folks who use fake news and alternative facts, and that don’t count, no one believes anything they say anyway.
    Meanwhile no one looks to see alternative facts are politically correct bits of fake news.
    Now, you all say that being politically correct is a way to try and control people’s minds? Have you every asked anyone on the other side of the political fence why they ever came up with such words, and may I remind you it was right wingers and repubs who came up with the phrase politically correct.
    Let me tell you where I sit. Using pejoratives makes for a very divisive society, one where bullies like Donald J Trump thrive. But he is a relative newcomer on the scene. Any persons who use venomous words are trying to put others down, to prove they are superior in some way. Meanwhile they are no better than anyone else, they just think they are. I do not agree with many euphemisms, they seem to be mainly used by religious people who don’t want to talk about sex or death or domestic violence or a lot of other natural actions like pissing and shitting. So those euphemisms are okay, they have been used for centuries. But other words that are hate-filled, racist, words that put people down, those are power words, and of course repubs love to use them. They make the user feel proud to be better than everyone else.
    Politically correct, which itself is just a euphemism, people would love to create a gentler language, gentle peaceful words that join people together in common life. Words that start fights that lead to pain, suffering, and DEATH are not peaceful words. They are the same old hate-filled, hurt-filled words that have driven the human race to kill each other for centuries and millennia. We don’t need such language anymore, such words. The human race is about to kill itself, and mostother species of life on this planet, possibly all species of life on this planet, and you want to argue about the meaning of words? Soon there will be no words, no languages, and no one to use them. THAT is something worth talking about, worth fighting for. Not against each other, but against the power- and money-hungry power-brokers who don’t give a fuck about life, human or otherwise.
    Humans never cease to amaze me. They worry about the damnedest, most trivial things. You want non-politically correct language: GET OFF YOUR FUCKING ASSES AND DO SOMETHING TO SAVE THE PLANET BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!
    Oh, pardon me, I forgot you don’t believe in climate change. See you in hell.

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    • Your disagreeing was fairly balanced until you ended on such an uncivil note. You are free to staunchly disagree with people, but that tone gets you nowhere and distracts from your actual counterarguments….
      I’m actually surprised at how open minded many of my religious followers are about my open atheism. Disappointing to see a fellow athiest spew such zealous vitriol…
      And I anticipate your counterargument already: That my words are vitriol! You’re free to believe whatever you want about the words I choose to use, but know this: The Left also argues that private platforms reserve the right to decide what speech flies and what doesn’t, and copious swears won’t on mine.
      Try a more sophisticated approach to rebutting the idea of PC being bad than saying the first offensive words that come to mind. It makes you look dumber and your arguments non-existent behind all the vitriol… Consider this strike 1 😉

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    • Donald Trump is not a bully, he’s a typical home-grown New Yorker. I now live in Central PA and there are WAY more bullies here. And they’re ignorant. Horrifying. Case in point, a bully is the one who starts the trouble, not the one who puts it to an end.
      I don’t mind political correctness if it still tells it like it is and doesn’t change the meaning or reality of a thing. Whether religion or science, (which to me, intelligent design and science are one in the same), some rules and laws of nature and society are absolute givens.
      Revolution against tyranny are only truly revolutionary unless those revolting aren’t tyrants themselves.

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      • Please tell 800,000 non-paid government workers trumpo is not a bully. Three of four might believe you, the ones who aren’t living cheque-to-cheque. To the other 799,996, he is definitely a bully.
        And if all typical New Yorkers are like trumpo, we’ll, please remind me to never go to New York, or Central, PA. I like decent people, ones who get along with their neighbours, no matter their race or religion, or lack of religion.
        Well, I guess I should be happy you are willing to call a spade a shovel, at least you can dig it. A pleasant life to you, gutterratt.

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      • While I empathize with the workers not getting paid in a timely manner for services rendered, living pay cheque to pay cheque is an indicator of poor financial planning.

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      • And you are going to condemn people for trying to survive on wage-slave pay rates. I am certainly glad you know how to manage your finances. Few enough people have enough money to be able to “manage” it.
        And then to give all his cabinet ministers a $10,000 raise while the frontline workers are not getting a cent, that is worse than insulting. How he can call himself a leader is pure arrogance, the ultimate in fake news. And if you believe his drivel, you are worse than he…

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      • While I empathize with the workers not getting paid in a timely manner for services rendered, living pay cheque to pay cheque is an indicator of poor financial planning.

        Depending on which website you consult, US air traffic controllers average anywhere from $85k – $190k per year with entry-level positions starting at $45k per year. That’s not exactly my idea of slave wages.

        And yes, managing your finances requires a certain amount of personal discipline. Wage rates are usually based on market demand, skill levels and job productivity — not your personal spending habits. So if you’re spending more than you earn, you must either lower your expenses or find additional sources of income.

        But I fully agree that payments of all congressional salaries should be suspended during the government shutdown, as well.

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      • Keep telling yourself you empathize, I doubt you even sympathize. No one can empathize with 800,000 people at the same time, not to mention their families and loved ones. Maybe you can pity them, I don’t know you. But walk in their shoes, feel what they feel, no. Nor can you empathize with the caravaners. I have no idea who or what you are, but from your words I do not see the ability to connect with people in order to empathize. You think you are better than them, if only as a financial manager. Someday you will walk the streets, pushing a shopping cart that holds everything meaningful in your life. And someone will want to take that cart from you. Remember then how you feel today. You know how to manage your life.
        But do you know how to manage your death?

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  6. Dearest LoR,
    When my little brother was born in 1954, he was deemed retarded. To a doctor that may have had a specific meaning, but it was NOT an inoffensive word. To lay people it meant “not all there,” and they used it as a pejorative to his face. The word itself may not have mattered if it was spoken civilly, but me being 5 years older than he, I could hear all the venom packed into the word. And as I was growing up, the number of times I heard “retarded” used to describe someone who was born “normal” but did something stupid made me, and plenty of others hate that word. It was certainly NOT A MEDICAL DESCRIPTOR! It was just a mean mean word.
    I have not read the rest of your post yet, but I could not go on without responding to you about this word. You might see nothing wrong with its use, but people who have had to live with hearing it every day about their loved ones do not feel that way at all. There is no use for it anywhere in civil discussion!

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    • I can see this disagreement is extremely personal to you and I can respect that. However, for me, debating the idea that morality can only truly stem from religion is personal to me being an athiest, yet I never respond to my religious debaters in the tone you did to me in your other comment. Be rest assured though, I never once called anyone a retard as an insult. EVER. I’m arguing for it not to be censored as a medical term. Not defending the pejorative layman’s usage. The phrase”that’s retarded” doesn’t have to be interpreted as being directed at a person as opposed to a synonym for stupid, or else we might as well stop saying the word stupid too since that can be hurled at a person with equal ill will. Both as insults at people are wrong. Context is what makes it acceptable or ill intentioned.

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      • I am not sure how we are debating if morality can come from religion, or what side of that debate you might be on. For me, just like there is no superbeing controlling the universe, there is no such thing as morality, as in right or wrong. There is the choice for harming others, or being decent to others, but that is about as far as I usually go.
        As for medical terms, I understand it is still such in the USA, but it has long been removed from medical books in Canada. But not because of its pejorative misuses, but because the word does not give a true description of a medical issue. There are a lot of things that have been changed because we now have a better understanding of causes and effects. Labels can have bad effects just like words can have bad effects, labels are just words after all. Down Syndrome is a disease, not a description of a mental status. Autism is a whole range of diseases and syndromes. These words have much more meaning medically than the word you want to use. Times change, and the language should change with them. Be part of the solutions, not part of the problems.

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      • “Mental retardation” in the context of the DSM theoretically, they did remove it, is an entirely different ballpark from “Hey, you’re a RETARD!!!” Just my own thoughts … Context matters as much as words. It’s too vague as a disease label, but it is a symptom.

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      • No, I disagree. That symptom is in us, the observer. The person who is labelled such feels perfectly fine as they are, and once they come to learn the language they have no idea why anyone would see them in that light. And they are perfectly correct to see themselves that way. It is us who cannot see them for the valuable people that they are. And that is just wrong!
        I am physically handicapped, though anyone seeing me would not think that. On the outside all looks well, I have 4 working limbs, and appear to be in total control of my body. But were you to be around me regularly, you would soon notice that I am seldom more than 25 feet away from a bathroom, or that I know where every public washroom is and how to get there quickly. I have no control over my bowels, and little control over my bladder. I was not born like this, but ended up this way from disease and failed surgery that cannot be corrected. Does this make me any less of a human? Of course not, though it does put serious limits on my activities. Being born with a mental health problem, or developing one, does not make that person any less human. They work with what they have, not with what they don’t have. They are complete within themselves, and only fools would try to tell them different. Yet they are labelled incomplete.
        Some see atheism as a mental disease, while others see extreme religiosity as one. That is in the DSM-V: religion can be a mental disease. How would most True Believers feel about being so labelled? Yet that is how many of us feel when we see a pregnant teenager (female or male) thrown out of their religious family forever. How could any parent do that to a child? That’s crazy! That’s retarded!

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      • Male pregnancy??? I assume you mean transgender men, who can identify as “men”, but “male” refers to sex, not gender. (Getting off topic now… New debate for different day!) And you just used the “R” word! 😉 The word doesn’t have to be pejorative still… My next point was exactly what you just said now: Why is it so bad to have an intellectual disability in the first place??? The only reason “retarded” is now an insult is the wider stigma around intellectual and mental illnesses. Maybe the stigma around the very concept of not being “normal” mentally is the real disease, not the “R” word as an adjective in itself in the DSM… A whole other debate in itself 😉

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      • By Male pregnancy I am merely talking about the father of the child-to-be, and nothing else. And I used the “R” word purposely to show how unnecessary it is. I guess I missed my mark. And I would agree to a certain extent that the word is a symptom, not the cause but another time? Looking forward to it.

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  7. I do think both sides have demonized and hijacked, changed the meaning of words over time. liberal itself has been tweaked into a naughty word, as well as welfare, entitlement, or human capital. As a non-politikker myself, I see both sides using the same tactics. Very noticeably in my lifetime. I was reading about in Chicago ‘liberal’ is codespeak for N-lover. That’s another point altogether with altering word meaning to whitewash racism with hidden verbiage.
    The cultural differences of language, even as you pointed me to before really does fascinate me. The Hopi language is timeless. Imagine doing science experiments side by side with that conundrum. Funny thing, both observations would probably be correct based on the viewers perceptions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • True! And good point… I think many who are what one would call classical liberals don’t like the new snowflake meaning of the word. “Leftist” may be a better term for those anti-free speech and ideas zealots…. I loved that example of the science experiment in Whorf’s paper! Really showed his background in chemistry come to life! Glad you liked my post! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • I do like the post. What concerns me about politics in general, as well as religion just to be fair, is both sides feel the other side is blinded by their beliefs. Who’s right?
        I don’t really even know the depth of all the bias anymore since disconnecting from it ten years ago. Algorithms too, on social media pick what people read based on likes and shares. There’s worry that social media algorithms are creating filter bubbles, so that they never have to read something they don’t agree with, thus causing more tribal thinking and confirmation bias.
We’re quite accustomed to living this way already since we as a species generally gravitate to what we already know, or think we know.
I think as long as we are trapped by the direction of our focus, and pretend it’s always the other side that just doesn’t get it, we will never progress to a better way. Not a third party mixture, but a new way altogether. I’m still working out what that is…but I can tell it can’t be either of these, or any of other forms that that keep trying and failing.
        The Nordic countries have lowered their expectations of what happy actually is. They even have a new term ‘janteloven’, meaning, why bother? That’s what happens in those systems that get all the rave. The safety nets have some drastic unintended consequences.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. An excellent and well researched post! Your point on the use of words to control thought describes the purpose of political correctness and the anthropological research that you cite is enlightening. As a lover of freedom, I view any attempt to control thought as malefic because it is an attempt to coerce conformity. Free thought and open debate are inherently offensive to anyone who wants to control others. I believe it was Thomas Francis Meagher who said “Words of freedom are by their nature words of treason.”

    Liked by 2 people

  9. The power of words is a fascinating topic. And, as guidvce4 already noted so well, this has long been recognized, and is being used as a weapon.

    Words have power. Words help create our perceptions of reality. This has been recognized throughout humanity. Even going into the Bible; our physical world was created with words. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:21” “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11” Books like Hung by the Tongue and What You Say is What You Get are based on the concept. The entire Law of Attraction phenomenon relies on it. The power of words is recognized and used in mental health treatments.

    The use of words is one of the things I find very different about the “left” and the “right.” Both sides use words as propaganda, of course, but in my experience, conservatives are much more interested in the accurate use of words to better and more clearly communicate what they are trying to say. The left (I don’t even like to use the word “liberal” to describe them anymore, because they are far from liberal! – and I just realized I proved my own point in that distinction), on the other hand, are more interested in controlling the definitions of words to suit their purposes. An example already given; the word “gender.” This had always been a grammatical term referencing one’s physical sex. It is also a very modern word. I have some antique books, and reading them is fascinating as much for how language is used, as for the quality of the stories, writing, plot, etc. themselves. It wasn’t all that long ago that the word sex was used in the way we later used the word gender. Gender referred to one’s biological sex. No more, no less. But now, suddenly, gender has become what we *feel* like, instead of what we are. Which immediately allowed for the concept of there being more than 2 genders. Here we have something utterly and completely detached from tangible, objective, measurable, physical reality, being treated as if it is MORE real that reality!

    The left reserves for itself the right to change the definitions of words to suit their purposes, demand everyone else accept those changes (or they are hatey-hater-McHateys). The goal of controlling words is to control thoughts. Which is the ultimate goal of the modern left. Not just to control our society, but to control our very thoughts (and, by extension, our emotions).

    Liked by 3 people

    • I grew up in one of the most diverse places on the planet and never experienced from foreigners what we experience from the left these days! Ideals and customs differed, however, the words remained the same. Never experienced the meaning of words changed merely by the fact that the language was different. Everything translated the same. Love is love, table is table, apple is apple, black and white remain black and white. Good was good, and evil was evil regardless of the leanings of whoever. Therefore, isn’t it strange how the far-left in a nation where most of us speak English seem to attempt to re-invent the dictionary?!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Wow – very informative. I’ve believed much of what you wrote, but never “verbalized” it 🙂

    it is clear watching the MSM how the technique is used. And, it is getting worse and worse.

    Curious as to how things will turn out.

    Thanks for the explanation in another great article.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. The battle for the meanings of words has been going on for, probably, eons. And it continues today, with the “left” attempting to define what we say, thus what we think. So this article is timely in that the leftists are attempting to change the pronouns we use to describe genders. The only reason this is necessary to the left is so that the majority of the population will come to accept that the new definitions of the many layers of gender will become accepted.
    In other words, the left wants us to approve what was once abnormal behavior and accept it as just another variation on the human condition. I call BS on that effort. Its all about sowing division and chaos in our nation to better take power. Its what the left does, seeks power over others in order to control them and enrich themselves.
    And, it begins with words. Simple, everyday words which have been in use for a long time, suddenly become forbidden to use to describe events, people, etc. Good luck with that.
    I am not alone in still calling ’em like I sees ’em. Using the language I was taught to use many years ago. Not sorry, not gonna change. Guaranteed that if someone wants to confront me with use of words to describe whatever, their “feelings” are gonna get dented.
    Maybe its just me. Could be.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Yep. Always been a problem for me. Some describe me as having no filter on what comes out of my mouth. Oh well. I just speak my mind. In the parochial grade school I attended as a child, I always asked “why”? Big problem, especially during Cathecism class. Saw a lot of the inside of the corner of the coat closet. The “penguins” (lol) were relentless in trying to dissuade me from asking the “why” for matters of faith. lol.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Truth! I know people on the far-right just as guilty. I live with that on a daily basis. oh yay. whether on is conservative, religious, or liberal; absolutes apply to an evolved, progressive, and successful society. If the ancients taught us anything it’s that when all restraints are cast to the wind, empires will fail and fall.

      Liked by 2 people

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