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Methinks the King’s English doth evolve, mayhaps.


That’s my pet peeve of English language drift. Mutinous legions of the Roman army were decimated; that is, one in ten soldiers was randomly executed as an example to other would-be mutineers. ‘Decimate’ was a fine word to indicate the loss of a tithe, more or less. In recent times, ‘decimate’ has evolved to evoke overwhelming losses, with perhaps only a mere tithe of the original sum, or meaning, remaining. To state that Hitler’s ‘final solution’ decimated the Jewish population (e.g.) would be deemed acceptable usage today, although far more than a tithe of the extant Jewish population fell victim to the Nazi policy of selective genocide. (So sue me for Googling, and for the further secularization of the word ‘tithe’ as well.) The dictionary may be unforgiving and unbending, perhaps like the Ten Commandments; but the English language lives and evolves like life on Earth, or science, or modern views on Christianity, which has by now largely eschewed slavery but was once upon a civil war employed to justify it.

William Safire would agree with me (and likely you) on ‘decimate’. I mostly disagree with Safire’s conservative opinion pieces, although I admire his work as a curmudgeon of the English language. He assiduously separates these aspects of his work. I view his example to be worth emulating, and I urge you to consider doing so.

I found, sometime during my continuing childhood, while toasting marshmallows on a campfire, that I preferred to let my marshmallows catch fire and burn to a blackened crispiness on the outside with a molten white gooey interior. It never occurred to me to bemoan the fact that it would have been inappropriate for me to refer to my marshmallows as ‘holocausted’. Even less appropriate would be calling such a marshmallow a ‘kike on a pike’, despite the macabre humor (not that you did or would).

“I do not need to be constantly reminded not to forget.”

I concluded upon reading this phrase that ‘overcoming’ equated with ‘getting over’ holocaust-wise. I did not leap to this conclusion, Charlie. You led me to it. I couldn’t avoid tripping over it.

Sorry, Charlie- but many other people do need reminding. In a world filled with Holocaust (big H used here to differentiate from Cajun cooking) deniers and American students oblivious to History (and therefore doomed to graduate anyway?) ‘never forget’ is a never-ending battle. ‘Never forget’ is prerequisite for ‘never again’ (as forgetting or denying must precede repeating, unless you dig that stuff).

You speak of cheapening the site, yet you persist in perpetuating the animosity between your self-esteemed self and select members. You act to perpetuate that which you proclaim to abhor. I am not without sin. I am working on that log in my eye. How is the mote in yours coming along? I’m living in a glass house with a pocketful of rocks.

Do you want to play?


So what if others use pictures and words to obfuscate? You use The Word for the same purpose.

I enjoy the clash of opinions here. I would prefer less personal animosity here. Be a saint, Charlie and stop stop stop it. Please? I do not wish to further poison this site.

Do you?

s 0315061605


"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesman and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do."

- Ralph 'Where's Waldo' Emerson

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like. And I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
- Bilbo Baggins

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The following comments are for "I still don't get it, Charlie"
by drsoos

Artful Articulation
Good to the point(s) articulation.

( Posted by: BHansen [Member] On: March 19, 2006 )

momma mia ;p
Hey cool but you know what that's not fair 2x2 speaking Italian because I'm the one who is half Italian! That's ok just kidding.

( Posted by: tomasini [Member] On: March 21, 2006 )

We were wrong!

The dictionary is not unbending. New words, and new usages of existing words, are considered for listing in new editions of dictionaries based upon cited published usages.

Thank God that the Ten Commandments are not subject to such revisions. Otherwise, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, or her ass, unless her ass is really fine, or if she dresses like a whore" might be the current version.

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: March 22, 2006 )


"I do not need to be constantly reminded not to forget."

I concluded upon reading this phrase that 'overcoming' equated with 'getting over' holocaust-wise. -

If you tripped over that then you are not alone. I couldn't help but draw the very same conclusions.
I get it.
Good diplomatic writing going on here. Your careful choice and witty use of wordplay analogy brought a smile to this old mug.


( Posted by: falkner [Member] On: March 22, 2006 )

target bull's eye.
Well done.

Off subject: I just read your litorg. bio page. It was one of the funniest things I have ever read. You are a very talented writer and you have quite an amazing sense of humor.

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