We are living in a world gone completely mad.
I mean try to absorb what I am about to write.
A college in our country….the US of A had a plaque on the wall commemorating the deaths of two of their alumni who embarked upon a missionary journey to Ecuador.
These two souls along with three others were speared to death and their bodies thrown into a river.
Classmates of the two former students purchased a plaque to honor their friends and it has been hanging on the wall in memoriam for over sixty-four years.
Fast forward to today.
Some well-meaning students took offense to the word ‘savages’ which was engraved upon the plaque to explain what happened to the missionaries.
The school in an effort to be ‘inclusive’ decided the plaque must be removed since the word ‘savage’ might possibly offend someone, somewhere, sometime.
Are we about to see a complete overhaul of our languages in this country?
How else would you go about describing who killed these poor souls?
Maybe something like…’peaceful Ecuadorian citizens decide to terminate the lives of a number of American tourists due to a minor religious disagreement’.
Does that work for you? Are you still triggered? What word upsets you?
So if you adhere to this line of thinking, then perhaps a cesspool or latrine should be called by some other name that would not be so offensive?
I am having a hard time trying to think of another word or group of words to describe an outdoor toilet that might be more pleasing in their description. Somehow changing the name will not change what the item is used for or how it might smell to us.
As I said at the beginning, a rose by any other name is still a rose. You might choose to call it a potato or a pumpkin, but it is still a rose.
Changing the names of items to make things more pleasant may work in some instances, but most of the time you will only confuse people.
Case in point.
Some years ago, an old friend of mine bought a ranch. We went to spend a weekend with him and his family.
As I was walking across the corral towards the barn, George yelled out to me…
Be careful, don’t cut your foot.’
Well, old city boy me is looking around on the ground for some broken glass or bottles.
I didn’t see any and asked George why would there be glass in a coral in the first place.
George was polite enough to inform me that it wasn’t glass he was warning me about.
It was the horse and cow patties.
I presume you know what these are.
He said it was just a nice way of telling someone not to step in s___.
So here is an example of word confusion, isn’t it?
So just as I am about to finish up this week’s blurb I get a note from a friend about an article in last weeks New York Times. It goes something like this:
“He,” “she,” and “they” do not suffice for some, the Times’ Ezra Marcus wrote, in a piece that quoted people as young as 13. These “noun-self pronouns” emerged from “an online hotbed for avant-garde ideas around gender expression.”…”A neopronoun can also be a so-called ‘noun-self pronoun,’ in which a pre-existing word is drafted into use as a pronoun. Noun-self pronouns can refer to animals — so your pronouns can be “bun/bunself” and ‘kitten/kittenself.’ Others refer to fantasy characters — ‘vamp/vampself,’ ‘prin/cess/princesself,’ ‘fae/faer/faeself’ — or even just common slang, like “Innit/Innits/Innitself.”
I hope you understood all of this because I sure didn’t. I sincerely wish the best for himself in they years ahead. Himself/herself/itself will certainly need all of the help them/selves can get.
I agree that we should be somewhat prudent in our language so as not to offend the majority of people, but let’s face it, anything any of us can say can be offense to someone if we search far and wide enough.
I honestly don’t see the sense in changing our entire vocabulary to suit everyone, do you?
If you have visited other countries, as I have, you know that certain words, phrases and gestures are ok for us here in the states but offensive in other parts of the world.
Likewise, there are terms and gestures that are deemed to be ok in other countries but are offensive to us. Are we just going to eliminate communication of any sort between groups in our world for fear we might say something that would offend?
Perish the thought.
Why not try to make the world an inclusive place for all of us, not an exclusive place.
We should strive to learn other customs, habits and yes, words that reflect the true meaning of events as well as descriptions that are accurate and not misleading in order to communicate with each other.
If you take offense to what I say, speak up and tell me so I can learn….don’t just expect the rest of the world to follow suit.
The people in Ecuador that killed the missionaries were savages….no other word can be used to describe what happened, some things should not be forgotten nor should they be changed to protect someone’s sensitivity.
Life is hard and cesspools don’t smell like rose petals….
See you next week