In an attempt to educate myself, I was writing down the meaning of ‘altruism’. I like words and will often write down the definition in hopes it will be retained in the overcrowded filing cabinet that is my brain.
Altruism: the belief or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well being of others.
It occurs to me that a politician could benefit greatly from this concept. But then they would just be helping their fellow man without lining their pockets, and what’s the fun in that.
As I was typing down this definition the autocorrect kept changing the word ‘selfless’ to ‘selfies’. So, in a truly ‘selfies’ moment, I took a picture of my lunch and posted it on Facebook.
But my point is that words have meaning and when we use them without care, we end up saying that which we do not intend or, worse yet, change the meaning altogether. Case in point – below is a response from our little local community website. There was a thread about a man who had repeatedly been arrested and was once again out on bail awaiting trial. The author of the thread titled it “Surely You Jest” and there were any number of pros and cons to trusting the legal system and the failure thereof. After one particularly pointed request at understanding how this man could possibly still be allowed to walk free in society, I read this response.
“Have you ever heard of liberals, liberal judges, etc????? Another outstanding example of how we are loosing our country one step at a time…….let people crash our boarders, don’t defend our country, on and on it goes, one step at a time……”
So, just for fun, let’s analyze this response and discuss it’s intended and literal meaning.
First of all I was somewhat taken aback by the use of five consecutive question marks. I suppose it was to emphasize (and here’s the fun part) the lack of understanding of the reader. ‘Have you ever heard of liberals, liberal judges, etc.?????’ you innocent, naive little puppy, as spoken by the all-knowing, savvy connoisseur of conservatism. If not, allow me to educate you!!!!! But that’s only the appetizer and I don’t want to gorge too much on the use of over punctuation by obviously illiterate people. It’s kind of like making fun of Trump and where’s the sport in that?
No, I’m starving and the entree is making my mouth water. When you say, “loosing our country one step at a time” when you mean losing our country, you are actually saying the exact opposite of what you mean. I am nearly loosing my mind at the obvious play on words this creates. In fact there is a word that would be close – “It was a dark and stormy night as the hounds had been loosed in an attempt to save the English language.”
Which is exactly what we intend to do with the obvious dessert course of this lovely repast.
The cheesecake of this verbal train wreck is “let people crash our boarders”.
Now, if you’re going to get into a debate about the security of our country’s borders, and god knows this has been a topic for the conservative milieu for as long as anyone can remember, wouldn’t you at least take the time to differentiate between borders – ‘a line between two countries’ – and boarders – ‘people who receive regular meals when staying somewhere’? Just think how pissed will this guy be when he realizes that not only are we loosing our boarders but now he has to feed them?
So words have meaning. Educating yourself to their meaning and learning how to express yourself both verbally and in writing is important. The world of words is vast and allows you to say so many intricate things and so succinctly.
I write because I like to play with words and discover their meanings. A society that no longer says what it means or knows the difference is easily lied to or mislead. Sound familiar?
We don’t need to think because we have leaders in our government to do the thinking for us. And that, my friends, is a very slippery slope. In the run-up to our recent mid-term elections, our president not only consistently lied about our borders, he also fabricated a middle-class tax cut that never even existed. All to cull favor and votes for candidates who would continue to sponsor his lying and shortening the English language to no more than 50 words. Seriously, count his next speech as he moves laconically left to right and reads the teleprompter with the gusto of a man on death row but really just ready to die. A vocabulary of 50 words tops – even fewer if he’s improvising. And in each pack of Cracker Jacks you get a prize. Ooh, look, I got ‘biggly’.
So in conclusion, think about the words you choose and what you really want to say. Otherwise you’ll just be another looser.