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Merriam Webster redefines word after manufactured woke outrage

After the shrieking hysterical shitshow that was the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, everybody knew that the Amy Coney Barret hearings would be contentious, given the perceived stakes.

An initial attempt was made to paint Coney’s adoption of black children from Haiti as somehow colonial or a thinly veiled attempt to cover her inherent racism.

That was quickly aborted when pretty well everybody (including me, an adoptive father of a black child) found that indefensible and beyond unhinged.

Now a new front has been opened against the nominee. This time it’s her use of the word “preference” when she indicated that she would exercise jurisprudence without judging sexual preference.

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) called her use of it “offensive and outdated”, before asking Coney if she’d ever sexually assaulted anyone.

Bluecheck Twitter immediately seized the baton, decreeing in true 1984-style that using the phrase “sexual preference” was offensive, has always been offensive and shall evermore be, offensive.

On it’s own, this would be just another tiresome episode of the Woke Social Order on a mission to be offended, trying to head off what they see as a disastrous outcome for the replacement of the late great Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who, tangentially, described Brett Kavanaugh as “very decent and very smart” after he joined SCOTUS. Oh, and she also used the term “sexual preference” in 2017, btw).

But it has been pointed out that the venerable institution that documents the literal meaning of words, Merriam Webster, quickly modified the definition of “preference”, to include:

5 offensivesee usage paragraph below ORIENTATION sense 2b sexual preference:

Usage of Preference

The term preference as used to refer to sexual orientation is widely considered offensive in its implied suggestion that a person can choose who they are sexually or romantically attracted to

This negative connotation was not there before Hirono’s remarks.

“Widely considered” my ass. Literally nobody in the world thought this yesterday morning. Seriously. Twitter is alight with countless examples of Leftist mavens using the exact phrase which offended exactly zero people, anywhere, until now (Meanwhile, I imagine woke bluechecks are frantically scrubbing their timelines of “sexual preferences” as you read this).

Merriam Webster’s page for “preference” shows that it was updated on October 13, 2020, which would have been immediately after all this  broke loose.

Screengrabs via Waybackmachine and archive.is show that there was no offensive meaning in the word definition prior to this manufactured outrage.

Why this is important

Because  it portends that words will no longer mean what is defined in an ostensibly impartial, objective dictionary. They now mean what politically über-correct social justice warriors say they mean. And if that’s the case, it also means that nobody can ever take issue or dissent from the Woke Social Order’s belief system without being, “by definition”, morally reprobate and wrong headed.

When I imagine “the word committee”, or whoever it is at Webster’s who decide what goes into the dictionary or when to change the meaning of a word, I always pictured a musty boardroom lined with books and a bunch of stodgy, learned academics slumped over the table, adorned with cobwebs … and every 10 or 20 years some clerk comes in with a list of word additions or meaning modifications and one of them just lifts up a rubber stamper that says “NO” and wordlessly hammers it down, sending the hapless intern on their way.

I guess I was wrong, and what it really must be now is some energized, hipster cultural Marxists cobbling new words and meanings off of Twitter and fashioning them to suit the far-left outrage du jour. Maybe we should be contacting the staff at MW and asking them about the review and vetting process that has them arbitrarily changing the meaning of words in their dictionary based on a twitchunt.

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Mark E. Jeftovic
 

Mark E. Jeftovic is the founder of Out Of The Cave and CEO of easyDNS.com, a company he co-founded in 1998 which has been operating along the lines described within these pages. No stranger to competing with 800 lb gorillas, easyDNS has consistently "punched above its weight" in a field dominated by behemoths such as Godaddy and Web.com. Since 2013 the company has successively achieved YoY all-time high revenues and profitability despite the entry of Amazon, Google and Oracle into the space as direct competitors.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 5 comments
smayer97 - October 14, 2020

It is woke to be “woke” today, don’t you know?! If not you might as well croak, or they will try to make you wish you did. Ah, what a joke (if only).

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Linnea - October 14, 2020

Hi,

You know you live in an age of print when people complain about the language evolving to meet the needs of the people who use it. Until Gutenberg and the printing press, even the hallowed English language developed and evolved over the years; that’s why we have ‘Old English’, ‘Middle English’, and ‘modern English’ separated by only a few centuries. Since Gutenberg, European languages have mostly stagnated, which is why we can still read Shakespeare in the original and understand it.

I suspect two dialects of English will emerge in North America over the next few decades (at least two): one belong to people from before the digital era, whose dialect supports a hierarchical and conservative worldview, and one after, whose dialect is more precise and supports a wider variety of subjectivities. It’s not unexpected that people who prefer the first will have scorn for those who prefer the second, it’s just sad.

Linnéa

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Joe Condie - October 14, 2020

Hi Mark, Don’t agree with some of your politics and have only a passing interest in the digital world, but your comments are sharp and right on, and always worth reading. Please don’t give up your commentary, despite how depressing the situation is.

Thx for doing it.
Joe

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smayer97 - October 15, 2020

@ Linnea you are missing the point… this is NOT about the changing of the meaning of words… this is about changing of the meaning of already accepted usage of words for the MAIN PURPOSE of attempting to manipulate and control the discourse and those with differing views. This is a form of compelled speech. This has NOTHING to do with the evolution of language in the sense that you present.

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Donna - October 16, 2020

I hear ya Mark, So tired of scandal after scandal, shopping in a small biz will kill you from the ‘Rona, but protests, meh, y’know 1st Amendment and all that. Unless your right to speak includes viewpoints that are verboten. Yes Kavanaugh hearings were a shitshow…public discourse is a shitshow. And the swamp cabal evades prosecution again. Have all but bailed from social media, can’t take the insanity any more. But still read the Epoch times, your newsletter, and Dan Bongino, have not gone total ostrich. Thank you for keeping us informed, even if some of the tech stuff is over my head!

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"Pictures of the Socialistic Future", by Eugen Richter. Written in 1891. Foreword by Mark E. Jeftovic.