The Importance of Words—And Definitions

He who controls the language controls the debate, so let's decide on some common meanings of the language.

The Book of Genesis tells the story of the Tower of Babel, an early, but powerful,
indicator of the power in changing language. He who controls the language, controls the argument, is a well-known truth. Over the past 40 years, those who would change our way of life have done a great job in changing the meaning of key words in a way that reflects a different understanding than the
original usage. It is hard to reach common goals when we are speaking different languages.

An example would be the word Progressive used in political circles. Progressives tell us they are leading the way to a new world, a fair world, a world of big government, a world of big taxes on success, and a world with big restrictions on private enterprise. The Progressives do not mention this is a very old idea which brings frustration and a repeated history of failure whenever it has been tried.

A true Progressive Party is the Conservative movement, a group celebrating the individual and free choice. Conservatives are wary of self-proclaimed smart people, in government and academia, telling us what is in our best interest. The Conservative plan, with a reliance on capitalism, is a rarity in history, but when
practiced, it is the reason the human race advances.

More examples of stolen words could be transparency, fair, entitlement, investment, and dope. Who is in charge of assigning these words new meaning?

Once, the word dope was an adjective, today it is a noun. If we use the adjective, are we obviously old, uneducated or just dopey, for not understanding the change? These questions are asked because certain words have become politically correct. In the past you could get a clue to how a person felt by listening to their language. Today, using politically correct verbiage, people are able to hide their true beliefs and goals. Instead of listening to the real person, we hear a politically correct robot, spouting acceptable language, without revealing their true self.  We  need to get clues to behavior and beliefs by listening to people speak in an honest manner.

I would like to suggest corrections for a few words.

In the future, Progressive, will mean wistful dreamer. 

Conservative will mean a person working to make a life for themselves and their family with limited government interference.  

Bureaucrat will mean a person who trades opportunity, for the protection of a good paying government job, where layoffs are rare. 

Elected Official will be someone who leaves private life to represent the people in their area, for a short period of time. 

Town hall meeting will be something that takes place monthly, where elected representatives explain their votes, and ask for input from voters. 

Reporter will be someone who is skeptical of all government, and represents the people, in seeking out corruption and variance from the Constitution. Reporters are honest people, who take pride in tough questioning of all parties, their only goal being the truth. 

Elections will be where people, who can prove they are citizens, cast a vote for their representatives. 

Debates will feature people with differing views who meet and discuss their views, in front of citizens, without the input of third parties. Debates will be mandatory for all people running for public office.

I move we get back to what words actually mean, we hold ourselves accountable to use the language in a proper context, and we celebrate those who enlighten us.

Does anybody agree that we don’t need the popular press, special interest groups, academia, and the government telling us what words to use in day-to-day conversations?  In Europe and Canada there are laws against using words the government has determined to be prejudicial, hateful or disruptive.

Isn’t it better to know the person has a distinctly different view, than listen to someone mouthing words because they know it hides their true identity? We must use the true meaning of words and not be limited to politically correct words with definitions different than common meaning.  

God changed the language to stop the building of the Tower of Babel; politicians, the press and interest groups have changed today’s language with the same goal, to stop progress on a project. The project, in this case, is individual freedom.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

fact checker February 22, 2013 at 03:17 AM
Redefinition when it is used to block communication is not helpful. Take the term "liberal." The righteous, I mean the right, have demonized a perfectly useful term. I don't shy away from it. I am, in fact, a very proud bleeding heart liberal. I see nothing wrong with being willing to help those in need. However the redefinition was done to end communication. If one is called a liberal they are expected to slink away in shame. And the righteous, I mean the right, seem perfectly content to end the conversation with that, thus excusing their lack of any meaningful contribution to the discussion. Oops, have I redefined "righteous?"
JustUs February 22, 2013 at 03:55 AM
"That statement tells me that you would also have to include the brave men and women of our country who volunteer themselves to fight for our freedom as "non-heroes" Can't you read, xxxxxxxxxx? I was one of those so-called 'brave men' who volunteer to serve my country and put my life on the line. But IMO the ones wearing the uniforms all volunteered to enter the military (to include myself) and we received money for doing so - therefore we should be exempt from 'hero' status. No one forced me to go into the service. I did it voluntarily and I got paid for it. It was my job. I was no 'hero' nor were any of those who I served with IMO. Can you grasp that? Fact checker had a hard time understanding it too for some reason.
JustUs February 22, 2013 at 04:00 AM
Another word worth discussing in 'unalienable' or if you wish 'inalienable' (they are interchangeable). The normal definition is 'exempted from being changed'. In other words 'unalienable right' means that it's a right that man cannot take away from other men (or women, if you will). It is a permanent right. But from what I've heard, the progressives have changed 'unalienable' to mean: Exempted from change unless it could save one child's life by doing so.
fact checker February 22, 2013 at 04:04 AM
investment |inˈves(t)mənt| noun 1 the action or process of investing money for profit or material result: a debate over private investment in road-building | a total investment of $50,000. • a thing that is worth buying because it may be profitable or useful in the future: a used car is rarely a good investment. • an act of devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result: the time spent in attending a one-day seminar is an investment in our professional futures.
Dan Avery February 22, 2013 at 06:18 AM
fact checker, If one is using actual rhetorical strategies to block communication then no it isn't helpful. I guess that is one way to look at the difference between Martin Luther King, Jr and Rush Limbaugh in my example. Reverend King used redefinition to try to open up communication about race. That Big Fat Idiot Limbaugh uses redefinition to shut down communication. I see nothing wrong with people being liberal or conservative. I happen to be more of a social democrat as they would say in Norway, which puts me to the left of liberal. I'm an old member of the radical left. I belonged to the S.D.S. and have always been strongly anti-war. I think Jesus was correct in that you can only serve one master: God or Mammon. I have never chosen to server Mammon. What would be the point? Besides, people get hurt when you do that. The only time I went to the French Riviera I was shocked. It makes Newport Beach look ghetto. On the Riviera there is "people got hurt money." "Lots of people got hurt money." It makes your flesh crawl if you have a soul.
Dan Avery February 22, 2013 at 06:41 AM
John on some level you're objecting to the nature of rhetoric, a word which literally means the artful use of language. The highest form of rhetoric is the satirical poem. It is the hardest to master and the most convincing. Well, if one has an education that is. Second highest is poetry, then satire...didn't you ever wonder why the Soviet Union threw their poets into Siberian Prisons? It's because the knew exactly how dangerous a poet can be to a government. Here we're not so educated and we ignore the poets. That is actually very stupid and it will costs us big time. When people are very skilled with words, John, they should win. Any immigrant who moved here not knowing English will tell you, language is power. That's why I spent 7 years studying my own language and another 18 teaching it. Look at how much more power Obama has than you, John. He's much better at manipulating the language than you. The guy you ran against for Congress is very skilled at manipulating the language. By writing these blogs, John, you are becoming more skilled. This blog is proof because you're grappling with the nature of language here. Rather than condemn it, you should embrace the beauty of it. English has over 600,000 words. It is a language one can dance with! "I grow old … I grow old … I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach? I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach." T.S. Elliot
John Webb February 22, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Dan Avery, thank you for the advice. I know your background and appreciate the point you were making. Language can also become propaganda which, while beautiful and somewhat truthful, is nevertheless misleading. You are right that Obama is a master of communication and has done a great job of misdirection on his programs. My writings are an attempt by a less skilled, but concerned citizen, to point out the danger of following this program. As for the guy who beat me, it was money not language. He refused to debate and once sent his chief of staff to a debate. They did not send anyone a second time.
JustUs February 22, 2013 at 06:22 PM
"You are right that Obama is a master of communication and has done a great job of misdirection on his programs." Not at extemporaneous communication. Only at reading off a teleprompter and acting. He is a darn good actor. I won't take that away from him. He is a master at accentuating certain words,voice inflections and using body language to manipulate those who bother to watch him. Many can learn these tricks over time and with practice, but I think Obama had a little 'flim-flam' in him when he was born. He was blessed with 'flim-flam, if you will, and then built on it with years of practice. Of course, that isn't a compliment. It's just an observation. IMO Obama probably only believes about 25% of what he says. He's playing a character part in a badly directed B-rated movie. It would be like watching outtakes of old Laurel and Hardy comedy episodes that never made the grade to make the screen. We see outtake material from the White House aired daily. There is your difference.
Dan Avery February 22, 2013 at 06:50 PM
John, For the record Obama is much more skilled than I. I tend to think it's all propaganda, we just don't call it that when we believe it in. Then we call it "Truth" or something equally as silly. I'm as guilty as the next guy at that sometimes. There are very few facts. The sun does rise in the east and set in the west. But the sky isn't really blue is it? It just appears that way to our eyes. We treat E=MC2 as a fact. It's really only a theory. Just the best one we have at the moment. Very few facts. The rest is interpretation. That is why English is one of the most marvelous languages on Earth. Also one of the largest. We have lots of words that mean the same thing, but are a different color. Words like "propaganda" get in the way. So does writing anything like your mom might read it. I tend to think of words as paint. It's only paint, John. What will you paint today?
Peter Schelden (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 07:57 PM
I just couldn't help but weigh in on this one, since it's a topic near and dear to me. By definition, propaganda is any message sponsored by a government. It could be as destructive and deceitful as the hateful messages of Joseph Goebbels, or as innocent and truthful as the city's puppy adoption announcements. Thankfully we have a free press and free speech rights that give the people the opportunity differentiate one from the other.
JustUs February 22, 2013 at 08:15 PM
" Thankfully we have a free press and free speech rights that give the people the opportunity differentiate one from the other." I challenge that statement. I get much more truthful and factual information from Russia Today (RT) media network, financed by the Russian government, about what is happening my country today than what I get from my American media. And many people who also agree with me. RT, btw, is based nationally in Washington DC, the belly of the beast, so to speak. We are constantly bombarded with propoganda from our American media, by both act and omission. And not just by the liberal press that does own much of the media market share - but also by so-called conservative outlets like Fox. It is absolutely AMAZING what they DON'T report. Propoganda is IMO more blatant in media OMISSIONS than it is in actual print.
Dan Avery February 22, 2013 at 08:32 PM
The title of the post is "The Importance of Words and Definitions" and now we get "thankfully" used incorrectly. Really? Thankfully? We already dealth with "hopefully" being an adverb. Guess what? Listen, people, Newscasters and Weather People do not understand the language they are reading off of teleprompters. "Stop emulating them please," Dan Avery said hopefully. "I am glad it didn't rain today because my nephew is graduating from MCRD today," Dan Avery said thankfully.
Peter Schelden (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 08:35 PM
You bring up a lot of interesting points, J.U. First, RT (and Russia) have a huge incentive to loudly publicize American misdeeds and foibles. The same is true of all America's foreign enemies—North Korea and Iran to name a couple. RT does some great work, (recently collecting and aggregating dozens of meteorite crash videos for one example), but it is still propaganda. What the U.S. media publishes is not, by definition, propaganda, unless it is publishing a government's message without any filter. As for the alleged crime of omission, that has traditionally been the result of a confined media space (three hours in the afternoon, the width of type on a page of newsprint). But with the Internet, no such physical limitations exist anymore. And now the public-at-large has the tools to inform itself, and as such is responsible to do so similarly to the professional media.
Dan Avery February 22, 2013 at 08:39 PM
Pete, well done on asking us to stick to the standard definition of "Propaganda." I was using the broader, "Think Different," definition of the word. You know, "new and improved." Ever wondered how something could be both? I know that's marketing, but on many levels so is "propaganda." Anyway, JustUs raises a valid point. American news, no offense, isn't exactly honest, and it's largely owned by very conservative corporations. While Victoria and I were in Sydney and Queensland, I was shocked by what had been going on in this country. Far more than I had been told while I was here in MV. Our news media needs to become investigative again, and much more critical of those in power. I remember watching Dan Rather report from the Nixon White House. Now that was news.
Peter Schelden (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 08:43 PM
One other thing, J.U.: I'd love to see you produce an RT article critical of Putin. I think you'll find it's fairly difficult. On the contrary, here are some examples of criticism of Obama from our (free) state-run media, NPR: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128495095 http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/06/11/154782404/immigrant-advocates-obamas-deportation-policy-a-failure http://www.npr.org/2011/09/01/140098788/labors-criticism-of-obama-grows-louder
JustUs February 22, 2013 at 08:48 PM
"What the U.S. media publishes is not, by definition, propaganda, unless it is publishing a government's message without any filter." The lack of transparent investigative reporting on the economic meltdown, which originated in America, that brought the globe to it's knees was astounding. The outright criminality and egregious financial fraud involved with ZERO criminal accountability for the Wall Street crooks told me everything I needed to know about our American media. They were wrapped tight with the US government and INTENTIONALLY hid the truth from the American people. Woodward and Bernstein must have cried for weeks, to see such weak and bought off we have today compared with what they had back in their day. Same with illegal immigration. I have NEVER seen the mainstream press do an investigative report on all the damage sustained by California due to illegal immgration - all the costs, blight, crime, stolen jobs, with the government turning their head in the opposite direction. Again, a perfect example fo how the media and government collude to keep the truth from the people. They attack Arizona and their anti-illegal immigration legislation like rabid dogs while not even mentioning all the California OFFICIAL sanctuary cities that openly and defiantly break Federal immigration laws at will!!! HAH! Not even a peep from the media about that. Don't tell me government and media are in collusion, Peter. I am not a 3rd grader.
JustUs February 22, 2013 at 08:49 PM
CORRECTION: "Don't tell me government and media are in collusion, Peter. I am not a 3rd grader." Should read: Don't tell me government and media AREN'T in collusion, Peter. I am not a 3rd grader. ...
Dan Avery February 22, 2013 at 09:02 PM
Ah, here we go...an anti-illegal-immigrant tirade from...wait for it...an immigrant. Someone who came here seeking a "better" life himself. Seems like he should be able to understand their plight. I guess people are just selfish.
Peter Schelden (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 09:12 PM
I think collusion can be found around almost every corner of business and government, J.U. But because there are so *many* voices in American media (unlike Russian media, for example), the truth is liable to leak out. And when it does, it cannot be ignored. But I'd add one word of caution about all of this: while most truths can and should be told, a tiny few should not (the identity of rape victims, the facts of a private suicide committed in a private home without public consequence). And so occasionally, the job of the professional media is to *not* tell all the things that are true, and that's almost always to protect peoples' privacy rights (or to protect military lives in the case of reporting troop positions during war, etc.) I think it's extremely rare, if not non-existent, that the media actively works with the government to surpress the truth in America.
JustUs February 22, 2013 at 09:16 PM
"Ah, here we go...an anti-illegal-immigrant tirade from...wait for it...an immigrant. Someone who came here seeking a "better" life himself. Seems like he should be able to understand their plight. I guess people are just selfish." This is not an immigration blog so I am not going to take your bait. We were discussing whether the media is owned or not - which is a subtopic to this discussion, vis-a-vis 'Propoganda'. I clearly indicated that the local mainstream media (and no MSM that I know of throughout California) has even done an investigation on the incredible damage sustained by California in terms of SOCIAL damage and ECONOMIC damage by the hands of illegal immigrants. All of the articles I've read make apologies for these criminals. Nothing about the $20B a year we spend just in California on them for free education, medical care, welfare and incarceration. This is not to mention all the stolen jobs, blight (loss of property values) and financial loss to those involved in a car accident with an illegal with no license or insurance. All this is PUBLIC INFORMATION available to the media, but they avoid it like Dracula avoids the crucifix. There can be only one reason for that. Collusion between the press and the governement so as to not alarm the citizens and to pave the road to reward criminals by giving them legal status for breaking into our country. You can live in denial if you want. I choose not to. :^) Stick to the topic of discussion too.
JustUs February 22, 2013 at 09:17 PM
Peter Schelden, you are going to return so that we can finish our discussion, aren't you??? Don't let Mr. Avery interrupt our discussion please.
JustUs February 22, 2013 at 09:28 PM
"I think collusion can be found around almost every corner of business and government, J.U. But because there are so *many* voices in American media (unlike Russian media, for example), the truth is liable to leak out." The truth certainly hasn't leaked out to most Americans about the 2 topics I mentioned, Peter: The Wall Street meldown and Illegal Immigration and it's damaging effects. Most Americans get the news from the mainstream press. We Americans expect the mainstream press to be honest with us, Peter. On VERY IMPORTANT MATTERS they often are not. And that is reprehensible, sir. The mainstream press' highest obligation is to protect the American people from tyranny. They have done a terrible job of that in the last decade and should be thoroughly ashamed. And if you are an intelligent man you should certainly recognize that. The evidence is overwhelming. "But I'd add one word of caution about all of this: while most truths can and should be told, a tiny few should not...." But the destruction of an entire economy or the destruction of society by the hands of illegal immigrants to not fall into those category, Peter. The American people have a RIGHT to know why it was allowed to happen, who did it, and why they aren't being held accountable. That goes back to PROTECTING US FROM TYRANNY, sir.
JustUs February 22, 2013 at 09:31 PM
"I think it's extremely rare, if not non-existent, that the media actively works with the government to surpress the truth in America." Which makes me believe that you are in deep deep denial, Peter. And I base that upon all the evidence we have of government/media collusion in the last 10 years. Of course you are a member of the media yourself. So perhaps you are biased in some way on this subject matter. That possibility exists.
JustUs February 22, 2013 at 09:41 PM
"One other thing, J.U.: I'd love to see you produce an RT article critical of Putin. I think you'll find it's fairly difficult. On the contrary, here are some examples of criticism of Obama from our (free) state-run media..." Even if RT were biased in favor of Putin, as you say, this does not mean that they would provide misinformation or lies about what has happened in America with our economy. You should watch their "Capital Accounts" production that focuses entirely on economic and business matters. I know quite alot about the American economy and the meltdown that occurred. The truth that RT provides on the manner in which the American economy has been gamed through FRAUDULENT FINANCIAL MEANS in favor of Wall Street and destroyed MANY MILLIONS of little people on Main Street cuts straight to the bone. And this is FACTUAL news that you would NEVER see Brian Williams report on the 6:30pm nightly news. One of the only American reporters who I respect is Matt Tabbei from Rolling Stone Magazine. I suggest you go to their website and read his FACTUAL investigative reports on the collusion between Wall Street, Washington DC and the American media. After your read his pieces come back and let's continue this discussion. I bet you would have a totally different viewpoint unless you are in such deep denial that you are lost cause. Denial is a terrible thing, Peter. It truly is. It destroys empires.
Peter Schelden (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 09:49 PM
J.U.: I'd have to have a more narrow line of inquiry to further pursue this. It's been an interesting discussion, but we're getting off-topic. Thanks for the comments. If you want to keep this volley going, I suggest you start a blog of your own here: http://missionviejo.patch.com/blog/apply
JustUs February 22, 2013 at 10:22 PM
Thank you for entering the discussion, Peter. I respect you for doing so. I know you are not required to do so. You did not appear to admonish me. You appeared to discuss the subject matter. And for that I commend you. I am disappointed that when I asked you pointed questions about the subject matter of our discussion that you opted to discontinue our public discourse and move on. I think that might discount your side of the debate in the eyes of some readers. But that is the challenge we take on when we enter these discussions. Either we forge ahead or we retreat. In any case, it was a pleasure, sir.
Mr Salty February 23, 2013 at 04:33 PM
Pretentious, Self Applauding, Blowhards, Windbags, Know It All's, Big Mouth's, Blabbermouths, Jabbermouth's & Gossipmonger's............................
JustUs February 24, 2013 at 04:44 AM
Peter Schelden? I have an article that supports my beliefs that the media and the politicians are interlocked in a cozy little relationship that really destroys the independence factor between the two that we rely upon for factual and transparent reporting. David Gregory, the news anchor for Meet the Press, on his Dec 23/2012 show, possessed a 30 round high capacity magazine used for high powered assault weapons and displayed it during his broadcast to make a point about gun control. It is illegal and a felony to possess such a magazine in the District of Columbia where his show was broadcast. NBC had contacted the Wash DC police and asked whether Mr. Gregory could use the magazine on his broadcast. It was refused. Apparently Mr. Gregory did it anyway. Everyone knows that Mr. Gregory is very friendly with POTUS Obama and his administration and that Mr. Gregory leans to the left. After the Dec 23 broadcast Mr. Gregory was not arrested or charged even though he broke the law. And FOIA request after the fact by reporters and citizens have been denied or circumvented. Now, there is no doubt of an ordinary citizen possessed this magazine (with prima facie evidence like a recorded broadcast w/accompanied speech) he would be arrested based upon probable cause and jailed. But not Mr. Gregory. And now the investigation is being stalemated, as discussed in this article. I rest my case. http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/guns/2013/feb/21/miller-david-gregory-police-mystery/
Dave February 24, 2013 at 06:44 AM
^^^^ You know JustUs that article you linked as support is an opinion piece. You do know that right?
JustUs February 24, 2013 at 07:03 AM
An opinion piece that delivers the facts. I gave you the facts in my synopsis. What don't you understand? What more do you need? Gregory broke the law. He was in possession of a high capacity 30 round magazine in the Dist of Columbia. It's all on camera. No arrest. No indictment. And now the investigation is being stonewalled when normally information requested at that stage of the investigation is made public. IMO obvious collusion between the media and big government. No wonder the media hides so much from us. It's one big happy family. Gregory and Obama probably golf together. Facts are facts, Dave. The nuts and bolts of this story are readily available. No mistake about it. Gregory broke a serious law and got a big fat pass. No doubt Mr. Scheleden won't respond. I think he already threw in the towel.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something