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[ the hijacking of language ]


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Computer viruses can be nasty little buggers. File by file they eat away at a computer until it serves no higher purpose than a really large paperweight. I had a friend whose hard drive was eaten away by such a virus. Every time he tried to open a file, the virus would delete it. There is a similar virus sweeping through the files of the English language. There are multitudes of words whose meaning has been twisted in a very dramatic fashion.

There are several groups who use the tactic of language to further their cause. The homosexuals are a good example. My mother's middle name is 'Gay.' When she was born it meant happy or cheerful. I'm sure that wasn't the meaning you gave when you read it. 'Over the Rainbow' is no longer sung by a girl with braided pigtails who only wants to go home to Kansas. Homosexuals have even brought us a new word: 'Homophobe.' It's a spiffy little title that is quickly slapped on anyone who is not 'tolerant' of the homosexual lifestyle. Ah-ha! There we have another prisoner that has been added to their collection. Have you noticed that anytime you hear 'tolerance' or any variation of that word, it is spoken by people who have no tolerance? Do you think the people who are pushing for 'tolerance' would follow their own rules if you wanted to read your Bible and pray at your school? Try it next time, and tell me what happens.

Another 'word warden' is the Feminist movement. Salesmen and firemen have been replaced with more 'female friendly' versions like 'clerk' or 'firefighter.' The feminists are almost militant about the use of their vocabulary. I had a speech teacher who actually lowered my grade because I used 'mailman' instead of 'postal worker' in one of my papers. Recently Zondervan Publishing released 'Today's New International Version' of the Bible, which replaced words like 'he' and 'men' with 'they' and 'people.' There is even a movement to get dictionaries to make the correct spelling of 'women' to 'womyn' to get those evil guys out of their name. In the unchanged words of Charlie Brown: "Good grief!"

This isn't just some ho-hum problem. Language is a gift that was made by the same God who made us. The same creativity that crafted us in His image is present in the art of communication. When people spit in the face of God by living lives against the standards that He gave us in the Bible—that should break our hearts. When those people take our words and twist them to fit their agendas that should make us irate. A line needs to be drawn, and some are not afraid to try it. Groups of people have started a boycott against the TNIV Bible, and others are fighting against the homosexual and feminist agendas. So what can we do? Let's try this: If you see a word that you think has been hijacked, bring it up on the views discussion board. They aren't hard to find, and we (with the help of God) can figure out ways to take those words back and give them the meaning they were made for. Language is far too precious to let it go because we might upset someone.

Links of interest:
Check out the subject of deconstrutionism
Info on the TNIV Bible, and what is being done to stop it
National Organization of Women. Great info on feminisim
- Melissa Miles
July 2002
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