WORDS

 

I’ve always liked words, but more than a passing interest was stimulated by the excellent English teachers I had in high school. Along with the usual chores of reading a huge variety of books and short stories, there was an overwhelming emphasis on vocabulary development, dredging examples of the use of items in the weekly word lists from any source, not only just from the assigned work. With some rarely-used words from that era, such as “serendipity”, we could gain special favor from the teachers with a solid example; that particular word has become ubiquitous (another word from our lists) and is in danger of falling into the well of overuse.

I have slowly become concerned regarding trends in changes to the meaning of words, given that it results in potential confusion and difficulties in achieving satisfactory communication. My first inkling of problems began probably back in the 80’s, when words such as “awesome”, and “incredible” began to be applied to situations which definitely had not achieved a state in order to be described in that fashion. Perhaps in many instances, “interesting”, “unusual”, or other less powerful nuggets would more accurately convey the reality of the event. From my perspective, such words were “reserved” for things that deserved elevation to the level of superlative, for if they were to be applied to less spectacular circumstances, then what were we to use when something actually deserving of the words occurred?

My concern has recently been put on high alert, as a cascade of misused hyperbole has issued forth from our new President as he attempts unsuccessfully to curry favor among groups from whom he has so far received little support. Not only has he intentionally launched attacks on a variety of major portions of the fabric which is America, health care, environment, immigration, education, and other elements, he is perhaps unintentionally lessening the effective use of our English language as he showers his speeches with “fantastic”, “outstanding”, “incredible”, and all of their partners in meaning. What is even more discouraging is that so far, nothing he has done comes close to earning any of those labels, unless they are applied to the negative actions he has initiated which appear to further erode most of the progress made over the past several decades toward improving the Human Condition.

As a Corollary to my concern, the word “Recourse” lifts its head as I look at the array of appointees he has placed into positions supposedly of Leadership, but fail in the actual productive performance toward “Greatness” due to lack of skills, knowledge, experience, or perhaps even more because of major dysfunctional attitudes toward each of the areas I referred to previously. I, along with most of my friends and colleagues, have become extremely anxious and discouraged about the future, not only regarding our personal comfort but more significantly toward the future of our beloved country. We see no RECOURSE, there is no path we can follow to address concerns that arise to further emaciate our treasured hopes and dreams.

There have been so many troubling things which have emerged during the past two years; one, the emergence of major bigotry in support of a candidate totally unsuited to be in the office to which he was elected by a flaw in the system; two, the existence of an attitude which is pervasive and destructive among persons now in positions to wreak havoc in their areas of responsibility; third, the performance of the Republican Party in allowing all of this to occur, most sitting silently and merely hoping it will go away instead of doing something about it; and fourth, the leaders of the two houses in Congress who have intentionally promoted actions to hamstring any reasonable legislative interactions to address emerging problems affecting the nation. In fact, I blame Senator McConnell for much of the current state of affairs, and refer to examples such as his stated opposition to doing anything which our previous President proposed, effectively shutting down any meaningful  performance in the legislative arena. Mr. Ryan is no better, but different in that he continues to be obsessed with cutting expenditures even if such cuts further undermine the government to function, lessen the ability of millions of our fellow citizens to fully-participate in the benefits of living in America, and further  feather the nests of the rich and powerful.

Both of these individuals continue to ignore the basic tenets set forth by the Founding Fathers in the Preamble to our Constitution:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Always Be Happy   To Our Youth

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