Keeping The Faith

I’m one of those who keeps the faith with language. I say what I mean and I try to live by what I say, though sometimes it’s hard because the inner voice of truth that comes out when I am speaking or writing is often wiser than I am.

I prefer other people to use correct language too, though I realize that’s an old-fashioned concept.

I just read an article that talked about Trump supporters spreading hate because they were getting in altercations with the protestors. So we’re supposed to believe that only Trumpers hate? That the self-proclaimed Marxist protestors who are burning and looting are doing it out of love? Oh, for cripes sake. Has the world lost its mind?

Words no longer mean what they once did. Peaceful once meant . . . peaceful. Free from disturbance. Tranquil. Not burning and looting, not screaming, not blocking emergency entrances at hospitals and chanting: “We hope they die.”

Words have always been plastic, meaning that they can be easily molded or shaped, not the way the word is now used, meaning something hard and indestructible. It seems words are even more plastic than I realized in this gaslighting era, where what we are told is the exact opposite of what we are seeing. For example, I had the misfortune to watch a television news broadcast the other day. They showed someone saying something, and then immediately afterward the newscaster told us the person had said something completely different.

In many cases, I’m one of last to keep the faith when it comes certain words. I say vegetables instead of . . . gag . . . veggies. I never use the outdated and so very sexist term “co-ed.” I don’t use permuted words like “styling,” whatever that means. (I assume it’s good because the other day someone told me my hat was “stylin.” Though with the plasticity of words nowadays, for all I know it could mean that I was wearing the ugliest hat the young woman had ever seen.)

I especially don’t say “love” when I mean “hate.” And I don’t say “peaceful demonstrations,” when I mean that people are rioting. I don’t say “taking what they need,” “expropriating property,” or “reparations” when I mean stealing. (Looting is stealing. To a person with a passing acquaintance with a dictionary, looting means to steal during a riot, and it’s a crime no matter how many people defend the act.)

It’s possible my adherence to words in their proper form and proper meaning is due to the intransigency of age, but it still doesn’t make the actions hidden in these plastic words palatable to me.

I think it’s time for me to pull in my head and channel my inner turtle for a while.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

5 Responses to “Keeping The Faith”

  1. Joe Says:

    A friend who has challenging (to me) views, the same one who pointed out that we live in the Affirmation Age (a play on the Information Age) pointed out that conservative and liberal now exemplify things they never used to. Conservatives should favor conservation of natural resources but they often value money instead, or prefer to find a way to make a profit off what should belong to us all and be protected for future generations. Liberals, on the other hand, should favor egalitarian ideas and “live and let live,” but they often don’t; instead they are shouting down anyone who disagrees with them or doesn’t express the correct opinion. He also asks, who decided that conservative = red and liberal = blue? He favors Trump. I dislike both candidates, and I wonder why the “party of diversity” came to nominate… *drum roll* an old straight white man? Why not a woman? Sadly, the fix is in and we’re being mocked by whatever powers think they run this show, but most people don’t realize it. As the saying goes, if voting changed anything, it’d be illegal, and Stalin was supposed to have “It’s not the votes that count, it’s who counts the votes.” I just wish the electioneering would be restricted to 6 months or so. it’s like Christmas. By the time the damn day comes along, you’re sick of it!

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      You started out making me think and left me laughing. So true about being sick of it. I think the way you do, that we’re being mocked by the powers that are really running the show, and that’s all it is, a show. What really galls me is that lately I’ve been finding myself in a position of defending Trump. They tell me about his lies that aren’t lies, things they themselves complained about him just a few months ago, and now they’re complaining about the opposite. Yikes. As for the other guys — it’s possible they are trying to usher in a woman president without having to get her elected. But it’s all part of the show.

  2. Sam Sattler Says:

    Language is a minefield right now. The meaning of words is changing so quickly that I can’t keep up anymore with all the silliness of terms meaning almost the opposite of what they meant just last year. Sending a text or an email is so tricky that I find myself self-editing several times before I dare push the Send button. And it’s all because I don’t want to inadvertently offend someone or give them the impression that I’m someone I’m really not. I think: Am I going to offend the feminist in this person? Am I going to offend this person and make them think I’m a closet-racist? Am I going to lose the respect of this person because I’m not buying into the rioting and destruction on our streets? Am I going to offend this person because I absolutely detest the BLM and Antifa organizations?

    Then I wonder why I have to worry about all of that when those same people don’t give a hoot about offending me and my own sensibilities.

    The world has gone mad.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      It is a bizarre time, that’s for sure, linguistically and otherwise. Hurting someone’s feelings, even inadvertently, such as calling someone by the wrong pronoun, is now seems as much of a crime as damaging their person or livelihood. Actually, more so since so many things are no longer considered crimes if done in the name of “justice.” I tell myself this is their world, so just accept it, but as long as I’m here, it’s my world, too.

  3. Judy Galyon Says:

    I understand what you are saying. The world has changed so much that there isn’t much I care for anymore.

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