Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fun with the language........................

      The passions of mankind have boiled over into all areas of political life, including its vocabulary.  The words most common in politics have become stained with human hurts, hopes, and frustrations.
All of them are loaded with popular opprobrium, and their use results in a conditioned, negative, emotional response.  Even the word politics itself, which Webster says is "the science and art of government," is generally viewed in a context of corruption.  Ironically, the dictionary synonyms are "discreet, provident, diplomatic, wise."
-Saul Alinsky, as excerpted from Rules For Radicals:  A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals

Being a fan of irony, your faithful blogger consulted his edition of Webster's New World College Dictionary (which was published twenty-four years after Alinsky's book).  While the definition matches, no synonyms were listed for "politics."  However, under the word "politic," the following definitions were provided:  2 having practical wisdom; prudent; shrewd; diplomatic  3 crafty; unscrupulous.   So........being "crafty" and "unscrupulous" equates to "having practical wisdom"and being "prudent"?  Is there any wonder why we sometimes have communication problems?  Is there any wonder why our language confuses people?  Just wondering.

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