Words and Their Implied Meanings
Would you rather belong to the "Apple Dumpling Gang" or the "Crypts"?
The connotation of the word gang reaches "hit an all time low" in the 1990's.
We envision today's gang members as drug lords who kill each other on street
corners. Society rejects and imprisons them. Once members of a "gang" simply
shared common interests and enjoyed social acceptance, much as members of a club
today. Many pairs of words have experienced a similar disagreement in
connotation throughout the years.
The term "revolutionary" currently enjoys more social acceptance than
terrorist. The mind-set of a revolutionary thinks he/she must change a
horrific aspect of society by forcing a break-down in government. In the mind
of a terrorist he/she must alter an aspect of society he deplores in society by
bombings, ...view middle of the document...
" The definition of a
club reads as follows, "An association of persons for some common object usually
jointly supported and meeting periodically." Hidden beneath each definition,
lies a more subjective, personal definition lodged in each of our minds. Why
must society negatively characterize gangs and positively characterize clubs?
We now associate the word "gang" with group of juvenile delinquents who create
disturbances with violence and misconduct. Commonly, society associates, the
word "club" with a positive environment where young people can have positive
role models in their lives who support them. Unfortunately gangs correspond
with corruption and clubs equate with honor. Maybe we can solve the gang
problem by getting them to join clubs.
Yet another combination of words similarly defined, yet with a very
different application in everyday life include "religion" and "cult." Every
religion on Earth has at one time had the status of a cult, According to
Webester's dictionary a cult has one major characteristic, "A system of
religious belief and ritual." A religion too has a single distinct quality,
"Commitment or devotion to a deity, faith or observance." Unfortunate, In
today's world, a cult will send you to eternal damnation while religion will
save you from it. With deeper analysis, one might contrive that religion
controls the masses about people with propaganda and messages of Satan whereas
cults teach the true voice of God that evade many people who remain unaware of
the desired spiritual effects.
Thus, many pairs of words like "gang and club" and "religion and cult"
that once possessed similar meanings have experienced a divergence in actual
application. One way to more accurately defines words might involve publishing
new dictionaries for each year, so libraries would discard superseded editors.
Dictionaries could be created for people of different regions, different
backgrounds, different philosophies, different occupations, and different biases.
Could we each publish our own dictionaries perhaps?