Arbitrary shifts in language mean we can’t communicate properly
Re: “Language changes and evolves”, (Citizen online, Oct. 29)
The letter-writer asserts that it’s not tricks and wordplay, but the natural evolution of language, when it comes to terms such as “sexual preference” suddenly becoming offensive.
Except, that it’s absolutely tricks and wordplay, and not the natural evolution of language. Society at large didn’t agree to this; it was unfairly and unilaterally forcibly imposed, using the threat of being labelled an “-ist”/ “-ophobe” to ensure compliance. Vocabulary isn’t being expanded, it’s being gradually reduced as each day one or more words are suddenly taken off the table without warning — such as “colourblind” — all because one person gave it a new definition that makes them feel bad about the word, even when it doesn’t make sense. Use of that word is then deemed unforgivable before anyone else was told it was offensive. Punishment follows, justified by a twisted form of “ignorance of the law is no excuse”.
We’re not talking about words that have been understood to be offensive pejoratives for decades, but even those words cannot be used in ANY context, because the postmodernist left has decreed that context is abolished and intent doesn’t matter, and all other non-offensive definitions or contexts disappear.
This situation is bad for meaningful discourse, because it lays a minefield of Kafka Traps for the unwary, and any word, at any time, could become Schrodinger’s offensive word, and people have no idea that a commonly-used word — with no originally offensive definition — has suddenly been chosen.
Important conversations are avoided because of the climate of fear and needing to walk on eggshells to avoid offending people; but this was the intent all along, as this situation was devised by long-dead white male Soviet infiltrators into America, who decided as early as the 1920s that it would be easier to exacerbate racial conflict as a means of revolution, than class warfare.
They seized upon legitimate grievances, but then taught people — using postmodernist/Marxist critical theories — to actively look for things to be offended by, using the concept that everything is subjective and therefore someone can individually arbitrarily redefine words so that they now have new, contradictory offensive definitions. However, the subjectivity is then dictated to be objective for everyone when something is randomly deemed offensive, and that’s neither fair, logical, nor internally consistent within postmodernist critical theory.
Any theory — such as critical theory — that is abusively cult-like, internally inconsistent, self-contradictory, and embodies the spirit of “heads I win; tails you lose” should be rejected on the basis that it is the antithesis of enlightenment. The postmodernist changes the letter-writer happily accepts in terms of language are not even in the slightest equivalent to advancements in women’s rights or anything else of that nature.
If a society can’t communicate because language keeps getting shifted without prior warning, that’s not progress. That’s downright regressive. It guarantees that every person — including the letter-writer — cannot actually avoid being offensive, making the effort to be “respectful” under these gaslighting-based rules to be entirely futile and pointless.
April J. Gibson