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Changing Meanings


I’m here to gripe, feel free to ignore me.

Or maybe I’m here in the hopes of saying something that makes you stop and think. Yeah, let’s go with that one.

Over the last year I started noticing that a lot of words are changing their meanings or are losing them altogether. It’s starting to bug me. It really is.

Just for the record here, for the benefit of those I generally assume are either under 30 or didn’t pay any attention in History Class, I would like to present a few words and their meanings according to Merriam-Webster.

de·moc·ra·cy
noun \di-ˈmä-krə-sē\

: a form of government in which people choose leaders by voting

: a country ruled by democracy

: an organization or situation in which everyone is treated equally and has equal rights

cap·i·tal·ism
noun \ˈka-pə-tə-ˌliz-əm, ˈkap-tə-, British also kə-ˈpi-tə-\

: a way of organizing an economy so that the things that are used to make and transport products (such as land, oil, factories, ships, etc.) are owned by individual people and companies rather than by the government

Kindly note that these two words are not interchangeable but rather are separate and apart from each other with each being capable of existing without the other.

so·cial·ism
noun \ˈsō-shə-ˌli-zəm\

: a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies

com·mu·nism
noun \ˈkäm-yə-ˌni-zəm, -yü-\

: a way of organizing a society in which the government owns the things that are used to make and transport products (such as land, oil, factories, ships, etc.) and there is no privately owned property

con·ser·va·tive
adjective \kən-ˈsər-və-tiv\

: believing in the value of established and traditional practices in politics and society : relating to or supporting political conservatism

Conservative : of or relating to the conservative party in countries like the United Kingdom and Canada

: not liking or accepting changes or new ideas

lib·er·al
adjective \ˈli-b(ə-)rəl\

: believing that government should be active in supporting social and political change : relating to or supporting political liberalism

Liberal : of or belonging to the liberal political party in countries like Canada and the United Kingdom

: not opposed to new ideas or ways of behaving that are not traditional or widely accepted

OK, now that we’re all on the same page and have our definitions straight, let’s continue.

A few months ago, right around Thanksgiving, a meme came through my Facebook feed. It was posted by a military-type page. It was a picture of a solider in battle gear with a caption akin to: Tell Me Again How It’s Wrong To Make Walmart Employees Work On Thanksgiving.

I’m not even going to discuss my initial reaction to the meme let’s just say I was happy to read many comments not in support and that pointed the differences between a soldier/cop/fireman and someone who was working solely to increase the corporate bottom line. Yet, a few comments caught my eye because they were so stupid. Most of them referring to the meme as “liberal propaganda”.

That’s when I realized the word ‘liberal’ in its political context had lost all meaning. All of it. Gone with the wind. At the same moment I realized the word ‘conservative’ in its political context, by osmosis, had also lost all meaning. All of it. Gone with the wind.

Honestly, from what I described above of this meme, if you really think some ‘liberal’ came up with that you need to go back to school. Some ‘conservative’ came up with that.

Idiots.

Next subject…The minimum wage is going up in the Great State of Connecticut. In fact, with any luck at all, it will go up on the federal level and those Walmart employees can get off my back, stop spending my tax money for their health insurance and ‘entitlement’ programs and start making their own damn way in this dog-eat-dog world.

People are screaming ‘socialism’ all over the place. They’re also, in the same breath, screaming how this socialist because it’s taking from one person to give to another. Then they cry that prices will go up because of it. (At this time you might like to revisit the definition of ‘socialism’ above.)

I ask who this is ‘taking’ from and no one can answer me without admitting the only thing it may slightly take away is the corporate bottom line and shareholders. I ask what these people think the value of a human being’s labor is. They either ignore me or simply don’t understand the question. The Minimum Wage is supposed to reflect the VALUE of YOUR WORK, YOUR TIME and YOUR LABOR…at its absolute minimum. No matter what the job is, your level of education, or your age. Personally, I think the minimum wage should always put one working 30+ hours a week OVER the poverty line…but that’s just me and I tend to value human beings. Your mileage may vary.

In closing on the socialist issue I would simply like to offer one more definition for two more words:

char·i·ty
noun \ˈcher-ə-tē, ˈcha-rə-\

: the act of giving money, food, or other kinds of help to people who are poor, sick, etc.; also : something (such as money or food) that is given to people who are poor, sick, etc.

: an organization that helps people who are poor, sick, etc.

com·pas·sion
noun \kəm-ˈpa-shən\

: a feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble, etc.

It’s my belief that these three words are getting confused, their definitions are mingling and becoming muddied into something deemed sinister. On the whole, I think we should do something about that.

Let’s try another word:

sex·ism
noun \ˈsek-ˌsi-zəm\

: unfair treatment of people because of their sex; especially : unfair treatment of women

George Takei posted a meme today on Facebook and asked for help with it because he didn’t understand it. It read something like; Women are deemed the weaker sex until you try to take the covers then they turn into Hercules. I thought it was funny…and true! If you try to steal my covers, buddy, you may find yourself rolling to the floor!

You got it, that meme was ‘sexist’ according to some. It showed women in a ‘stereotypical’ and/or ‘unfair’ manner.

Yeah. Right. Please revisit the definition of the word and then get back to me on that one.

Let’s keep along this line for another moment with:

SEXUAL HARASSMENT
: uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature especially by a person in authority toward a subordinate (as an employee or student)

A student giving a teacher a hug. An elementary school boy kissing a little girls hand. These are sexual harassment in 2014. Strange. I can remember when one actually had to do something sexual to be charged with sexual harassment. I guess today anything that involves the merest human touch is ‘sexual’ and therefore is harassment.

Come back and talk to me when your boss wants to bend you over the desk or he isn’t going to give you your paycheck. Or at least when you’ve finished reading the definition of the term and considered whether or not it truly applies.

Pussy.

I want to close out our list today with:

Social Network (I had to go to the Oxford Dictionary for this one, couldn’t find it in Merriam-Webster)
noun

1a network of social interactions and personal relationships.

2a dedicated website or other application that enables users to communicate with each other by posting information, comments, messages, images, etc..

I would appreciate it very much if those who are actually anti-social would consider deleting their Facebook/Twitter/MySpace et al accounts. I’m tired of watching people whine in my feed of how they’re going to start deleting friends for sending too many; game requests, event invites, page like/notification invites, and/or posting on their pages. Their reasoning for this is they ‘don’t have time for this spam’. They’re tired of their notifications going off all the time and they have to stop doing whatever they’re doing to answer it only to see it’s ‘spam’.

Unless someone has posted a blatant advertisement for themselves or their business ON your page…It’s not spam. It’s a social network and people are being sociable.

If that bothers you then you could turn off the notifications on your phone/tablet/computer. But if you’re so afraid you might miss something important then, at the very least, you don’t have to answer every time the damn thing goes off. After all, you’re not actually one of Pavlov’s Dogs…are you? If you are then can’t you find a way to recondition yourself in some manner? Start small. The thing goes ‘ding’ and you count to 30 before popping it to see what it is. Next time count to 60. If the world doesn’t end and you don’t miss something earth shatteringly important posted to Facebook in the space of a single minute….well then, problem solved, huh? Keep going try for two whole minutes the next time.

So, just to let you know, I won’t be deleting anyone from my Facebook page for any of the above reasons save repeated blatant advertising ON my page. If you want to me share a link and toss it out there in my feed for you, why I’d be happy to do that. Just ask. I may ignore most of your game requests, sorry about that. I do like to be notified of your events although I’m rarely able to make them, sorry again. I like it when you have a new page to share, please let me know so I can check it out.

That’s our Words for The Day! Thanks so much for coming.

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