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Words Fail Market

Bet on the Future Erasing the Past
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(+3, -2)
  [vote for,

We are clearly living in a special (can I still use that word?) time, a time when certain words and expressions fall out of favor, and some become so problematic as to be essentially banished.

The Oxford Dictionary already notifies us of important NEW words...And now we are learning, almost daily, about words we cannot use anymore, or words only some of us can use since to do otherwise would constitute cultural appropriation.

This betting market would let us bet on what is the next disallowed word and benefit financially from this obvious bending of the arc of the moral universe towards justice...

theircompetitor, Jul 27 2020

Chief Banana No More https://www.theglob...eo-title-to-respect
[theircompetitor, Jul 27 2020]

Primary Bedrooms https://www.cbsnews...throom-terminology/
[theircompetitor, Jul 27 2020]

First they came ... https://en.wikipedi...First_they_came_...
... and there was no one left to speak for me. [8th of 7, Jul 28 2020]

Clangers https://www.wishful...010/03/08/clangers/
[hippo, Jul 29 2020]

Virginis Native Americans on the Redskins https://richmond.co...0-9b2b37ed863f.html
Seems a 50-50 split. [RayfordSteele, Aug 01 2020]


       A bit of corporate window-dressing does not invalidate a word, especially in parts of the world that never engaged in indigenous genocide during their early corporatised development.   

       So whilst it is sometimes newsworthy to find a gimmick to raise a particular issue into the current news-cycle, I don't see the global use of a word with a direct etymological line to vulgar latin via French being dropped with any great enthusiasm.   

       Lots of people do worry about these temporary media manipulations, as though they had any actual meaning or effect. It will all blow over, just like it did the last time, and the time before that. Hopefully we'll have made some sensible and real progress on the issues that provide the substance behind the froth, just like we did the last time, just like we always do. Because most people are generally sensible, with a healthy mix of optimism and caution tempered with a genuine desire to "do the right thing".   

       It's just a sad fact that all this game of media hyping and forced polarisation is necessary to get disingenuous right-wing people into power, thereby opening the door and encouraging other people (perhaps even forcing them) to play the same kinds of games, cheapening any serious discourse in the process.
zen_tom, Jul 27 2020

       You can't say "right wing", that implies the others are "wrong".
pocmloc, Jul 27 2020

       You're right, by which I mean correct. You can't even say "which" these enlightened post-Malleus-Maleficarum days where political correctness means angry mobs aren't even allowed to persecute and burn suspected "hexenfolk" at the stake any more. It's political correctness gone mad - where will it end?
zen_tom, Jul 27 2020

       The problem is there would be feedback from the betting market to the social media influencers stirring up the mob. Your wise wagers would be scraped for new ideas to implement.
pocmloc, Jul 27 2020

       What [zen tom] said way better than I could have.   

       Wow pendulum swing like a pendulum do, now don't it?
The oscillations seem to be increasing in frequency.

       I can't believe the word 'master' is now being bastardized. I have mastered my trade, if an apprentice seeks to become journeyman he does so under a master. My 'master' bathroom is master of the others because it has amenities the other ones lack, not because only my white ass is allowed to sit there.   

       What a joke.   

       In a way I blame homosexuality.
No wait... hear me out.
The sentence; "You! Boy! Go fetch me a flaming faggot to warm my chilled ass so that our evening might be gay." meant something quite different than it does today.

       I have absolutely nothing against homosexuality per se... but quit stealing perfectly good words already.   

       Oh yeah... and I want my rainbow back.   

       LOL, very clever 2fries.   

       Pretty sure someone could have a good time going through the dictionary, picking out words whose "moral lineage" could be brought into question and sending out furious press releases about the evil of words like "adorable" (implies that some aren't worth of being adored) or "happy" (puts value judgement on those who don't wish to engage in the dialectic of the outmoded "good feelings"/ "bad feelings" paradigm.) Throw in lots of two bit fancy-lad words in to make it sound extra scary.   

       See how many people you can get to bite then tell them you were just kidding. Then everybody will have a good laugh and we'll all have a group hug.   

       [+] for the interesting topic for discussion factor.
doctorremulac3, Jul 27 2020

       So, the Kansas City... Executive Managers of Indigenous Peoples?
RayfordSteele, Jul 27 2020

       MANagers? Didn't you mean "personagers"?   

       I suggested the Redskins mascot be a white guy who was really pissed off so his face was red. Put cartoon steam coming out of his ears, angry grimace etc.   

       They're name is currently the "Washington Football Team", and no, I'm not kidding.
doctorremulac3, Jul 27 2020

       The worst of it is, the right love this moral outrage redefinition of words story - it breeds fear, and that's what the right and the corrupt are relying on to elect their most incompetent puppets. So whenever they come across anyone clumsily making some arse-backwards case for changing the language, they leap on it and before you know it, it's manufactured moral outrage and everyone from the centre leftwards is cancelling Christmas.   

       It's fake news.   

       No such outrage exists, and in the few cases where there really is a true case to be heard, people are free to think about it and make their own choices. And that's it - no biggie. But every time, the polarisation comes out, trying to turn it into class war. It's 10% good intentions clumsily or youthfully expressed, and 90% right-wing hype.   

       The only thing anyone ever asks for is to be kind. That's what political correctness ever boils down to. Just be kind. Lose your fear, it's largely unfounded, and most of it these days is finely crafted and meticulously engineered.
zen_tom, Jul 27 2020

       Heheh, re: "I decided to take the word 'chief' out of my job title, to show respect..."   

       Personally, "chief" is my goto synonym for "pal", "buddy", "mate", etc.   

       So - of course - every time I stop for gas on a rez, I end up calling everybody "chief". One guy told me "hey, in our culture, everybody's a chief"... not quite sure what he meant.   

       Carry on.
FlyingToaster, Jul 27 2020

       Well crap. So it did.
She's come full circle boys.

       Nobody try to master anything anymore. It'll just bring scorn.   

       You know, every word that anyone ever uses, has some kind of meaning.   

       If the word has meaning, then by definition there are other things that it does not mean.   

       That is in itself discriminatory, selective, partial, and judgemental.   

       For example, the word "think", implies that there is a state of non-thinking, which is obviously a personal slight on stupid people. The word "saucepan" implies a kind of heightist superiority over skillets. The word "egg" clearly is gendered and therefore highly problematic.   

       My suggestion is that all words are banned. People will only be allowed to communicate using whistles, like the Clangers.
pocmloc, Jul 28 2020

       So, Newsqueak instead of Newspeak ? George Orwell would be so proud ...
8th of 7, Jul 28 2020

       //My suggestion is that all words are banned.//   

       I personally find the word "word" very offensive. For me to have to explain why is also offensive since asking someone to use logic is in itself a micro- agression.
doctorremulac3, Jul 28 2020

       You're all right - doesn't stop any of this being a straw man though since in real life, Christmas has not been cancelled, and nobody is banning anyone from saying anything. It's mostly hype and noise, and we're all collectively falling for it.   

       Yes, there are some continuing introspective, deliberate moves from some folks who have decided to shift some of the words at the boundaries of their own language-usage, as in the bedroom and CEO examples - but it's still no big deal. We all decide which words to use, and which ones not to use - just like we always have. Language is a living thing, non? If it weren't we'd all still be speaking Latin, Proto-Indo-European or French.
zen_tom, Jul 28 2020

       //still no big deal// has probably been used at the top of the slippery slope by lots of people.
theircompetitor, Jul 28 2020

       "First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a socialist ...."   


       // we're all collectively falling for it //   

       ... but not, strangely, our highly attractive FREE offer on Assimilation ?   

       Humans are very odd ...
8th of 7, Jul 28 2020

       And yet you keep wanting to assimilate us. Maybe you should reconsider?
RayfordSteele, Jul 28 2020

       This seems for all the current political environment like a critique of the current occupant of the White House.   

       The theory goes something like: Most of us accumulate the effects of good or bad decisions over our lifetimes. Our reputations skew accordingly.   

       Others of us "close the book" on bad decisions, and go back to work until something else bad happens. Those who act so rely on recent events to put their good old and distant acts in perspective -- temporarily, until near evil is forgotten.
reensure, Jul 28 2020

       [theircompetitor] the "slippery slope" argument has been used 1000s of times to justify far worse and more objectively harmful actions.   

       Such slopes scare people and by the sounds of it, you've bought into the emotional sting promised/threatened at the bottom of this particular psuedo-slope. A better way to motivate people than through fear and identity politics there is not, especially when your very identity is being moulded from conjured up fears and made up prospects.   

       Remember the fear they spread about Obama? The death panels? The black uprising? That he was a foreigner? A Muslim - gasp!! All of those were from the same playbook - the scare-em-till-they-vote for-our-guy tactic. And guess what, it was all bullshit then - there were no death panels, the white race never was obliterated, the birth certificates were demanded and dutifully provided.   

       We're seeing a rise of all the new more topical bullshit now.   

       It's much, much easier to control a story that's been largely concocted by your own media folks - even better if some isolated fool from the other side can be made to look like they're representative of a larger movement.   

       So a single CEO decides to alter his title - woah there! Slippery Slope Alert! A single realtor decides to soften their own language around bedroom nomenclature! Danger Will Robinson!! Peril Approacheth! Socialist Takeover!   

       No, I wont be carried away in this particular bullgasm - great for getting people to talk about the same identity- forming bullshit around the water cooler, great to make people feel like they belong, like they have a shared identity, a common plight. But at its root, it's empty hype - from the exact same album as other great venerable hits as "Christmas is cancelled", "Socialists will take your stuff!", or "Watch out! Some foreigners are coming". All of which play on the fears of people who like Christmas, have some stuff, and don't feel immensely comfortable around foreign people - in combination, a stunningly popular demographic!   

       Any slippery slope has long since been slud. It is a slope of invented fear, an incline of artificial outrage and we're at the bottom of it already.   

       8th, in this instance, I don't think the "and then they came" applies, since nobody has actually come, or is even planning to pass on their way to the shops. Two examples of people introspectively trying out a modest change of their own language, and the wolf is at the door?   

       Nah, we let the wolves in already - they're inside, flicking through our Facebook profiles, and whispering fearsomely plausible things in our ears about our friends and neighbours.
zen_tom, Jul 28 2020

       Almost by definition, the very mention of erased history will be erased from history.
FlyingToaster, Jul 29 2020


       Future cyb-archaeologists might have to parse through and argue over time-stamps to determine authenticity of memes in the art galleries of historical artifacts...   


       ...in space.   

       //My suggestion is that all words are banned. People will only be allowed to communicate using whistles, like the Clangers. -- pocmloc, Jul 28 2020//

However, for every episode of The Clangers there was a complete and carefully written script which was then delivered with Swanee whistles. Sometimes you can understand what they're saying and there are a few controversial (because this was the 1970's, and children's TV) bits of swearing in the scripts (see link).

On the more general point about language, language is a constantly-changing thing and over a short period words change their meanings and acquire or lose cultural and emotional 'baggage'. This fluidity sits uneasily with rigid rules that one must not use this or that word but must instead use this other word.
hippo, Jul 29 2020

       // rigid rules that one must not use this or that word but must instead use this other word //   

       Hence the endless, futile rearguard action fought by the academie francais against neologisms and- horror of horrors - English loan words.   

       Bizarrely, Engish- with its sponge-like tendency to unashamedly acquire bits of other languages - has been markedly successful for exactly that reason; dynamic, flexible, versatile.   

       // Almost by definition, the very mention of erased history will be erased from history //   

       Are the Ministry of Truth hiring again ? "Mr. Goldstein will see you now... "
8th of 7, Jul 29 2020

       [hippo] let's not confuse the evolution of language with language policing and McCarthyism (excuse me, cancel culture) ... It's one thing when everyone under 30 decides to say that cool really means hot... It's a very different thing when someone can be doxed for something they put on a website a decade ago...   

       [zen_tom] -- there's no doubt a measure of agitation exists here -- but the disturbing trend is the desperate virtue signaling that this kind of article represents, the cries of loving big brother rising up from the privileged rushing to avoid the pitchforks..
theircompetitor, Jul 29 2020

       //[hippo] let's not confuse the evolution of language with language policing and McCarthyism (excuse me, cancel culture)// - yes, exactly: the fluidity and ambiguity of language, as well as its tendency to fragment (i.e. there are thousands of different variants of English, split by class, gender, economic group, geography, etc.) do not work well with blanket demands that some words are acceptable and others are unacceptable. 'Piling on' and shaming someone for a perceived infraction of this orthodoxy (especially, as you say, for something said a long time ago) turns the internet into a weirdly conformist place in which people are scared to put forward views which diverge from those of the crowd.
hippo, Jul 29 2020

       Pretty soon you won't even be able to call someone a Fascist, even if they are one, and you are too.   

       Disgusting, we call it. Just the sort of thing Hitler would do ...
8th of 7, Jul 29 2020

       (cough!) - Godwin's Law...
hippo, Jul 29 2020

       Can you say that ? We don't think you can say that any more. It's prejudice ... have you got something against megalomaniac demagoguic antisemitic Austrians ? Discrimination ! Discrimination ! Just because someone's the vicious, destructive embodiment of evil doesn't mean you can be nasty to them. You have to be polite, and understanding, and Respect Diversity ... even as they're herding you into a gas chamber.
8th of 7, Jul 29 2020

       This half bakery gives me faith in humanity for people seeing through the cracks in the left's facade.
chronological, Jul 29 2020

       // faith in humanity //   

       There's your mistake, right there... yup.
8th of 7, Jul 29 2020

       Also, late fomenting joke but, the Halo franchise is screwed.
zen_tom, Jul 29 2020

       //This half bakery gives me faith in humanity for people seeing through the cracks in the left's facade. — chronological, Jul 29 2020// - I don't think changes in the way language is used is a left/right thing. It seems to me that it's more a generational thing, as it always has been; Young people always have and always will change language and change the usage and rules of language. They ascribe different meanings to words, and may be more or less prescriptive and dogmatic than their parents. It's the role of us old folk to grumble and rail against this change to the established order.
hippo, Jul 29 2020

       ^ ... in the media, I've seen the left deliberately mangle the language much much more than the right.
FlyingToaster, Jul 29 2020

       Yes, much more sensible and practical to use RIGHT and VERY, VERY WRONG.
8th of 7, Jul 29 2020

       Some people are more equal than others.
chronological, Jul 29 2020

       Repeat after us, [chron]: "Four Legs Good, Two Legs Better".   

       And it's pigs. Some pigs are more equal than people.
8th of 7, Jul 29 2020

       // The only thing anyone ever asks for is to be kind. That's what political correctness ever boils down to. //   

       Yeah no. They push for compelled speech, "awareness" of nonexistant issues, they call certain political views hate speech, they call for censorship, they inappropriately connect organizations with the people the orgs claim to support, they try to mix up every oppressed and "oppressed" class into one big useless dominance hierarchy of victimhood... They do it for power and often enough at the expense of the people they claim to support! And all the time they claim they're just asking people to be kind.   

       I am kind. What I'm not is bigoted. And handing out special privilege for people of certain classes is bigotry.
Voice, Aug 01 2020

       // The only thing anyone ever asks for is to be kind. That's what political correctness ever boils down to. //   

       Respectfully disagree. While some good people may view it that way, the main power base behind this movement doesn't. This is primarily about one group of people seeking to control another. This is just the newest label on a very old human activity. It's not about creating goodwill between groups, it's about dividing them and turning them against each other so they can be controlled. It has many similarities to the French Revolution. Point to somebody and say "J'accuse!" and watch the state destroy them. They're handing out cudgels for people to use against each other under the guise of giving helpful hints on how to be nice. Like the French Revolution, it's turning on itself very quickly. Ask Robespierre about that little twist of the game.   

       Look again at football that's in the crosshairs of the PC. Football is a social event where people of all races get together on Sunday and celebrate individual greatness. No matter your background, if you're good enough, you can get very rich as a football player. This is the American dream, prospering because of what you do, not because of the social strata you were been born into. At the beginning of these games, this diverse group of people take part in a ceremony to stand together and listen to a song. The message of this ceremony is "We are all one at this moment. We've put aside our differences and today for a few hours, we're just going to enjoy our time together." This is why it has to be destroyed.   

       The "Washington Football Team" had its name changed and the mascot removed despite the fact that many native Americans felt it was in honor of their warrior heritage, but this isn't about pleasing them, it's about the self appointed moral elites controlling every aspect of this country that they despise. Especially hated is football, the pastime of the reviled working and middle classes.   

       I came from the ghetto. I saw which people prospered and which people didn't. My family did well and we got out. We were the so called "nuclear family" with a dad and mom that the ruling elites have now targeted. Broken families living on welfare didn't prosper and the kids suffered. But the elites make no money from intact, strong families that don't depend on the government for survival. The welfare check is the new slave- master's whip.   

       Communism, the Black Plague of the previous century been replaced by global elitism. The rich and powerful are saying "Enough is enough" to the knuckle dragging middle class who don't know their place and further telling the lower classes that there is no hope but to accept their government pittance and take to the streets on command of their rulers when told to do so.   

       This really is the revolution of the rich and powerful.
doctorremulac3, Aug 01 2020

       Ew, stop saying things like that. You're making me like you.
Voice, Aug 01 2020


       Well, can't have that.   

       By the way, I like to remind myself that this social friction we're going through isn't new, it's a part of our wiring. Nature has programmed us to slug it out every few years. My approach is to try to be humane and kind to people who are on the "other side" because peace does come eventually. I do the Venn diagram approach with people. Once you see what you agree on and start building from there, you're surprised at how similar your values are. Then you see that our primary differences are, a) how to approach solving our problems and, b) simple tribalism.   

       Anyway, that's my opinion, right or wrong for whatever it's worth. Hey, maybe I'm wrong, maybe we all need to go to war and destroy each other for the good of the planet/society/ civilization/country/political party or whatever.   

       In that case never mind.
doctorremulac3, Aug 01 2020

       some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice.   

       However, since we've threatened to dox them, they've all shut the hell up and are watching the world end quietly from the comfort of their living room...
theircompetitor, Aug 01 2020

       //some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice//

<spinal tap> Derek: “We’re very lucky in the band in that we have two visionaries, David and Nigel, they’re like poets, like Shelley and Byron. They’re two distinct types of visionaries, it’s like fire and ice, basically. I feel my role in the band is to be somewhere in the middle of that, kind of like lukewarm water.”</spinal tap>
hippo, Aug 01 2020

theircompetitor, Aug 01 2020

       Like so many things in the west, this all goes back to German thinking. When linguistics became a 'science' and postmodernism started using scientific method as a way to rationalize relativism, will to power become the only method of assigning value, and everything at hand became a cudgel, including words most simple.
4and20, Aug 01 2020

RayfordSteele, Aug 01 2020

       // I feel my role in the band is to be somewhere in the middle of that, kind of like lukewarm water //   

       I recently poored half a cup of boiling water into half a cup of ice which was frozen solid. I'm happy to report that the boiling water turned quite cold far before the ice had really thawed at all. Am trying to apply this method to solving global warming somehow...
4and20, Aug 01 2020

       ^ The proportioning might be problematic.
wjt, Aug 01 2020

       It takes more heat to melt 1 kg of ice than it does to raise its temperature from 0 to 100 C.
RayfordSteele, Aug 02 2020

       //this all goes back to German thinking//   

       Come on, [4and20], credit where it's due; I mean, yes, Nietzsche has a lot to answer for, but don't forget the contributions of French toss-pot Michel Foucault and English dick-head D H Lawrence. The present mess was very much a joint effort.   

       On the other side of the ledger, Hegel does not inevitably lead down a sinister path, and Popper's Logik der Forschung was an important positive from the German tradition.
pertinax, Aug 02 2020

       About the ice and brimstone issue: note that I said I 'poored', which is pour with 2 zeros. Also, I have a habit of making lemonade, then using the same 'dirty' cup to pour water and freeze it. Some of those frozen cups of water have been left on a table at room temperature on very hot days without melting one iota for an amazing number hours. Who knows what other impurities -- and there are many -- pollute the local water.   

       No doubt my proportions were inexact, but any man or woman with enough concentration can do it while having sex in the kitchen.
4and20, Aug 02 2020

       // don't forget the contributions of French toss-pot Michel Foucault and English dick-head D H Lawrence. //   

       It's a fair point. I was going to bring in the Brits for a good moral cleaning. And most of the 'thinkers' postmodernists allegedly read are nationally French. But I have read that French philosophy has basically been German since at least Napolean.   

       Will to power is a convenient shorthand, but the destructive self-centeredness of the ice people goes back a lot further than Nietzsche. Luther and Kant have a lot to answer for. I'm not against replacing god(s) exactly, but the replacement certainly shouldn't be a Prussian or German.
4and20, Aug 02 2020


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