The Meanings of Words

As we debate the important issues of the day, it is important  that we all use the same words to mean the same things.  Of course, the problem is that the language is changing and it’s changing fast and it’s sometimes hard to keep up.  So, tonight I’d just like to weigh in on a couple of words, how they are used, and how I think they should be used.

Every time the argument turns to Israel,  as it tends to do, because to people who are interested in that unhappy little corner of the world there is nothing more important, any argument against the actions of the Israeli government will be met with the charge of anti-semitism.  Invariably, that argument will be countered by  some pedantic person who is more interested in linguistics than in  Zionism, who will be quick to point out that Arabs are semites as well, and therefore the word is irrelevant.

Shut up.  Although that may be the etymology of the word, everybody knows that it now means anti-Jewish.  If somebody wants to say anti-Arab, they say anti-Arab.

I object to the term being used in the overly defensive manner it is, to shut down any criticism of Israel.  Lord knows, there is plenty to criticize Israel for.  But I accept that it means anti-Jewish.

When the conversation turns to UFOs, there is always some person who thinks they’re a genius when they point out that UFO  just means unidentified flying object, so it might actually just be some swamp gas, or a classified military experiment.

Shut up.  We all know the acronym.  When we say UFO, we mean a spaceship with aliens inside it, and when we say aliens, we mean people from another planet, not just another country.

Now we  come to GMOs, and that’s the one where I think the definition is causing serious problems.  When we talk about genetically modified organisms, we are not talking about cross breeding plants, or even grafting.  GMOs at that level of technology have been with us for hundreds of years and are socially acceptable:  orange carrots, Golden Delicious apples, and almost all of the marijuana that is on the market today.  No, we’re talking more about something at the genetic level.

Even so, I don’t want to be an enemy of science.  If I thought that GMOs were being manufactured in order to fight plant diseases, make them more pest resistant, or even just to give them a longer shelf life, I’d be all for ’em. But that’s not the case.

GMOs means Monsanto and Monsanto, as everybody who is not employed by them either directly or in their capacity as a government official agrees, is an evil corporation bent on destroying small farmers and gaining total control of the world’s food supply.  So, the way the word is used today, I’ve got to be against them.

Sort of like communism and eugenics.

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