Thursday, June 16, 2016

Certain Words mean Certain Things

It was my august infantry instructor who commanded that we understand what words mean (by august he meant venerable not regal).  After all, you don't want someone setting up an ambush if you said delaying position because that implies two different things. It is important in society to spend as much time understanding the words people use as much as it is to spend time.

His credo was, "certain words mean certain things". I altered that slightly to consider and understand the definitions of words so I can understand better what people meant.

I just wrote a blog post calling Clinton and Obama plutocrats. Here is the wiktionary word definition - not meaning because people can intend many meanings.

plutocrat ‎(plural plutocrats)
Someone who rules by virtue of his or her wealth.

In this revealing article below, it explains why that applies to Democrats;

Thomas Frank on How Democrats Went From Being the ‘Party of the People’ to the Party of Rich Elites Democrats have gone from the party of the New Deal to a party that is defending mass inequality.

Today's Democrats are the party of professional, well-off, elites and not of labor. They went to school and that's how they got ahead. In their mind, everyone should go to school like they did and they will succeed.  Job seekers today know different.  While they intend that everyone can get to the top if they go to school, the reality is they can't all make it. That makes them plutocrats because they believe they got their by earning it in a meritocracy; which in reality was part other factors including luck.   I could have called them oligarchs but that's an even less used term and it makes me sound more gauche and elitist. Nothing is further from the truth.

Now, I don't use big words to demean people that don't know them, this is not an ego trip. I use the words because they fit the pattern and behavior of the person or thing I am commenting on.  I am an INTJ on the Briggs-Meyer test, a mastermind, I describe things accurately to make sense of my world. But I also learn the words. Rather than spending time on emotional reactions, I go and look up the new word people used I don't know and then think carefully about how that applied to the situation at hand.

So go and look up words it's never cheaper and easier at wiktionary. And if you stare at Obama and Clinton long enough, you will not say that annoying person didn't know what he was talking about, you will realize there was a specific reason why that word was used. And whole new worlds will open up to you, as you increase your deeper understanding.

Certain words mean certain things.