letters

Arbitrary shifts in language mean we can’t communicate properly

Society at large didn’t agree to this

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

Duncan

Letters

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bhagwan Mayer. (Photo submitted)
Organizer of transporting the World’s Largest Hockey Stick to Cowichan remembered

Bhagwan Mayer a “hard-working fellow who cared about his community.”

Paula Foot narrates a collection of stories to appeal to the imaginations of the young and young at heart with a new album​ ‘Moments with Miss Paula: Stories for Fall and Winter’. (Submitted)
New album of stories from Cowichan storyteller offers children a world of magic

The stories will appeal to six-, seven-, and eight-year-olds

The VIJHL's Kerry Park Islanders' games have been cancelled due to COVID-19.
Isles victorious before league shutdown

The Kerry Park Islanders were able to sneak in one last game… Continue reading

Lake Cowichan’s Oliver Finlayson, second from left, and his family — including grandma Marnie Mattice, sister Avery, mom Amie Mattice and dad Blair Finlayson — were all smiles on Nov. 16 when their pool arrived, thanks to lots of fundraising and the generosity of the Cowichan Lake community. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Lake community comes together to help family get vital pool

Oliver Finlayson, 9, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and hydrotherapy is a big help

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Most Read