Yet More Dangers in Obfuscation

With the meanings of words changing, and some words being given more power while others are given less, it comes as no surprise that a popular magazine would release an article that appears to attempt to normalize incest. 

This article go so far as to change the meaning of incest, however, softening it into genetic sexual attraction. This has been going on for decades, and has even been lampooned in a popular George Carlin rant. Adding softer language to something does not change what it is. Instead, it serves as a line of division with which someone can call themselves proper and another person improper. 

Beyond that, it blurs the lines yet again of hate speech. When will come, the first instance in which someone calls it incest, and another person gets offended because they were merely engaging in genetic sexual attraction?

The term “slippery slope” gets thrown around a lot, but in this case it is clear that we are on one.

Don’t fall.

The Danger of Obfuscation.

It is evident in these recent years that there is a growing group of people determined to eradicate free speech. These people all fit into the same category, as they search for oppressed groups to be a part of. When discussing points with students on college campuses, it becomes evident that they try to turn the argument in their favor not with the merit of their argument, but instead with their identity. If they find they are losing ground they’ll tell you that they are trans, or autistic, or some other oppressed group that is neither easily proved nor easily disproved. Rather than form a cogent argument to defend their position, or, God forbid, be willing to change their opinion, they muddy the waters, and turn the argument from what it was into their very identity being attacked.

The Power of Words

The power of words is even being changed. Often you will find the same groups of people using words like literally, but with changed meanings. The word literally is the opposite of the word figuratively. This is definite and absolute. Despite this, however, people will inevitably dredge up instances in which someone has used the word literally to mean figuratively at various points in history. Just because it happened in the past doesn’t mean it’s correct or right. The use of literally as figuratively is another form of obfuscation.

The definition of other words has changed as well. In any dictionary before 2009, looking up the term fascism would tell you that it is a socialist construct. Socialism is a very left wing ideal. In newer dictionaries, fascism is defined as specifically right wing, with no mention of socialism. History and reality does not support this, but the meaning of the word has still been changed.

How It Remains Relevant

The continued changing and mutating of words ensures that no matter what a person says, a meaning can be drawn out of it to fit whatever narrative another person wants. This is a dangerous form of evolution, especially when it is considered that oppression becomes an ever widening net for people to fall into. Most arguments these days are not based on their actual basis, but instead on how it affects a particular oppressed group. This form of obfuscation ensures that no progress can be made between two opposing parties without somebody being hurt in some way or another.

The United States of America is the only country in the world that has laws regarding free speech. No law enforcement authority nor any government authority can’t stop you from saying something, nor can they levy fines or imprisonment upon you simply for something you have said. The same cannot be said for even so close a neighbor as Canada.

The current attempts by certain groups to classify certain speech as hate speech, as well as attempts by members of the Democratic Party to set forth laws regarding hate speech, are attempts at removing the first amendment rights that Americans hold so dear.

Things Don’t Happen in a Vacuum.

It is important to remember that things don’t simply happen in a vacuum. There is rhyme or reason to almost every action. When someone attempts to classify words as hate speech that are in fact not hateful, a wise person will attempt to see what might come of it.

A Literal Event.

Everything is an event these days. The news is always talking about some weather event, or active shooter event. Last I remember, an event was something that you went to, and knew what it was before hand. When we were kids, we used to get excited when we heard our parents talking about an event happening. 
People like to talk about how the meanings of words change over the course of years, or decades, or centuries. There has been much tutting and controversy over the word literally, and its use as a secondary form of the word figuratively, which is its opposite. I myself have found my chagrin in the misuse of this word, when the actual word is neither that far away, nor more difficult to use. I figuratively want to climb out of my skin when I hear it.

It’s funny, though. I’ve heard people say that the English language is the hardest language to learn, not only because of our past, present and future tenses of words, or the fact that our plurals don’t follow one uniform rule. Gooses and mooses are afraid of mouses. Don’t even get me started on sheeps.

Aside from that, there’s so much slang, and alternative uses of words. You might want to eat a crayfish, but not realize(realise?) that the fish isn’t cray. 

It’s a subject that could fill a book. My AutoCorrect attempted to say that it could fill a buck. That last statement alone is a little gross. Not gross in terms of quantity, gross in terms of unpleasantness.

I think I’m just going to end this one here, before I get myself in trouble. And, not the good kind.