6 Words Being Raped

Words matter.

And many words are being raped of their meanings.

Some have been so misused that they’ve been stripped of their teeth.

Here are some examples:

  1. existential
  2. weaponized
  3. experts
  4. begs the question (okay, more than one word)
  5. identify
  6. extremists

Just a few slices of contemporary misuse:

  1. If a politician panders to her base by Tweeting that if they (her sheeple) don’t pedal unicycles to their midday meditation classes, the earth is going to dissolve within the next 17 seconds because everything–absolutely everything!–is an “existential” threat, well then, nothing is an “existential” threat.
  2. Government/big tech/media are a “weaponized” oligarchy to control the sheeple. Self-evident as the statement is, weaponizing everything is en vogue in current parlance. But like man-buns and skinny jeans, let the adults pray that these embarrassments will go the way of the Ford Pinto.
  3. According to “experts,” the planet’s going to be destroyed in 17 seconds! Quick, Tweet something! You keep using that word experts, but it does not mean what you seem to think it means.
  4. So this “begs the question.” Begging the question means assuming the conclusion in the premise. What you mean can otherwise be accurately expressed by saying, “This gives rise to a related question . . .” and then posing your question.
  5. Where does one even start? Egads!
  6. He was a married man, a dad, too, and I saw him assemble with his wife and other extremists in corporate gatherings. They sang hymns, sat under the preaching of the Bible, and served their community. Extremist, I say! Arrest him! Arrest them all! They’re extremists!

When I was a lad, the older and wiser folks had a saying they’d offer when I made blunders. “Bless his heart,” they’d say, saying it in the third person even though I was standing there. Now that I’m the old guy in the room, I better understand.

Bless our little hearts.

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