I was very fortunate to attend a Catholic high school. The education and discipline were rigorous. Communication in writing and speaking were stressed throughout the four years of matriculation.
Communication basics were taught in Freshman English. One of the most notorious instructors was Brother Sloan. Brother Sloan came from the old school in the Olde Sod, where the belief was, if a kid looked at you cross eyed he got smacked.
Every day Brother Sloan gave a quiz. It consisted of five or ten words. He would recite the word. You had a minute or so to correctly spell the word and provide a short definition.
After the quiz he would collect all the papers. While the class was supposed to be reading an assignment, he would grade them. Then, he would walk the aisles handing back the papers. God forbid you misspelled a word, made a mistake on the definition, or left off the definition. You got a hard smack. Sometimes so hard it would knock the largest teen from his desk.
Brother Sloan placed a very serious emphasis on vocabulary. That emphasis was left on the faces of his charges on a daily basis.
If Brother Sloan were alive today and saw how our language is being misused and mangled by so-called educated people and alleged intellectuals, he would declare Jihad.
Words have meaning. They are our method of consistent communication. Unfortunately too many people create their own meanings for words. These phony definitions are picked up by the mass wad, members of the over educated news media, poltroon politicians, and Mensa moron mamalukes in academia.
Here are a some examples of the official dumbing down of America:
Hate and its various forms- The basic definition of hate is an intense or passionate dislike. The modern definitions are disagreement with another's point of view, political persuasion, ideology (idiotology), religious persuasion, or in the case of our loveable cretinous celebrities, not being one of their adoring idolatrous fans or being a critic. Hatred has been diluted to the point that it really has no meaning at all. "Haters gonna hate" could mean anything you want it too. Just ask any cretinous celebrity.
Racism- Racism is defined as racial prejudice, racial superiority, or the notion that race produces superior and inferior human beings. In our world of intellectual idiots, racism is now any disagreement with a member of another race, criticism of or disagreement with President Obama, or criticism of a noted member of another race. Sometimes racism is tossed out there just because. This is done by people who are to lazy to use critical thinking to respond or object to criticism. Racism is atrocious and abhorrent. Under the new definitions it is meaningless.
Laid off- Laid off was defined as a temporary state of unemployment. Now, it is a euphemism for being fired. The news media loves this word. It sounds so much better than fire. Permanently laid off is another euphemism for being fired that the dullards in journalism and politics love to toss around. People are not fired any more. They are laid off or permanently laid off. One could wonder what they call a temporary lay off.
Compromise- An agreement or settlement reached by two sides making concessions. The modern definitions of compromise are betrayal, treason, sedition, and treachery. Compromise is the ugliest word in our current polarized political environment. One who compromises is loathed.
Lie- Knowingly and willingly making a false statement(s). In today's modern world lie means misspoke, mistake, error, or any other word spinmeisters, public relations weasels, or communication advisers can come up with to cover up for a liar. A liar, especially if it is a politician doing the lying, is now an idiot who does not know what he is talking about and needs someone to correct him or her.
Honest politician- This is a term made up of whole cloth. There is no such thing as an honest politician. There never has been.
Critic/Criticism- Person who judges the merits of things favorably or unfavorably. Favorable or unfavorable judgement. In today's lexicon critics are haters, racists, liars, traitors, betrayers, and people who compromise. They are usually fired, especially if they criticize our lovable iconic dishonest politicians or imbecilic celebrities.
Modern American English is turning into dedicated obfuscation. America is becoming the proverbial Tower of Babel. No one knows what they are talking or writing about. If it sounds good it must be correct and accepted, especially if dull witted celebrities, politicians, or members of the news media say or write it.
No one really understands what is spoken or written. It is a pity that vast numbers of people fall for this obfuscation. America is fast becoming a dumbed down nation of low information functional illiterates. Critical thinking is dying. No one questions these faux definitions or the manner in which words are used.
I really miss Brother Sloan. If he were around today he would be branded a terrorist.
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