One of my frustrations with Catallaxy is that as much as I find it beneficial to educate myself and share thoughts with like-minded far-far-right, raycist, homofauxbic, fridgofauxbic, meesogynist, radical extremists, I want to be able to do something practical about the state of our decline. I don’t want to have to avert my gaze when my grandchildren or great-grandchildren ask “Was it always this bad? What did YOU do when our freedoms were taken away, Muddy?”
I possess, however, limited financial resources, a great cynicism bordering on frothing rage regarding our political process, and senses of patience and tolerance for my fellow humans that decrease with every breath I take. So what CAN I do? While it may seem trivial in the grander scheme, one thing I can control is the language I use.
Some time ago an obscure English blogger by the name of G. Orwell posted about how language exerts influence over the population. If you control the language, you can control the people who use it. In “Politics and the English Language (1946),” Orwell wrote that language can “make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and … give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
Our enemies – the internal ones I mean, those who hold open the gate for the barbarians – have long understood the power of language, and while we were comforting ourselves that impotence would rise in the end, they were busily redefining, reframing, and controlling one of the most indispensable tools that we as humans possess.
‘Fairness’ now means legal theft and redistribution; a misogynist (traditional spelling) is a heterosexual male who verbalises anything, at anytime; and ‘privilege’ has been redefined to mean a male of Anglo background consuming oxygen. Language is used to pathologise dissent and categorise people into ‘acceptable human’ and ‘unacceptable sub-human’ classes.
It is not enough for us to passively avoid using our enemy’s preferred language – ‘progressive’ for example. Though that is necessary (language dies without use), it is a topic for another post.
We must actively both reclaim or neutralise that which was stolen from us, and shape new words, new forms of language that will serve us, rather than define us as willing victims. It is the latter goal I want to focus on with this post.
Let’s get down to business. I propose that we begin to reclaim our language by creating a Catallaxy dictionary – a Catictionary – of new words.
From time to time, some of the more lucid commenters on here reveal a pithy, entertaining word or phrase that is both descriptive and ‘catchy.’ These might sometimes be scrolled past and go unnoticed, hence the purpose of a Catictionary to record and offer them for wider use.
For example, Fred Lenin recently gave us ‘Naggot’ which I’m guessing is a conjunction of nazi and maggot, and refers to a certain highly paid public servant without whom, according to this same individual, our society would descend into a spiral of name-calling and malevolent staring.
Viva added ‘Insulterati’ which needs no further explanation, and Myrddin Seren contributed ‘Accelerated National Ruin.’
Bill Thompson has given us a ‘Flannery’ as a measurement of rain (“I think we’ve had over 75 “Flannerys” in the past week”), which Entropy defined as “…50 GL…Wivenhoe Dam [in south east Queensland] at 1,165 GL is…23.3 Flannerys.”
John Constantine has put forward “the Looting Class,” which is a more accurate description of the polite, almost respectable “Rentseekers;” “Ruinables” as a more truthful version of the playful ‘Renewballs;” “Interchangeable Filthcog;” and “Spitcoin: their internal currency of choice, the more spitcoins a swampy accumulates, the higher on their virtue ladder they are elevated and the greater the range of lesser deplorable people they can spit down on.”
The word or phrase need not be political either, as Chris gave us ‘Grammargasm.’
My own contributions, such as the “Year Zero Party” for the Greens, “Anxiety-Porn Pimps” for the so-called mainstream media, and Malspasm: the involuntary nervous twitching that takes place in a long-deceased political corpse as a result of the delayed release of gases and toxins stored within the empty testicular cavity, have all sunk without a trace over the past 12 months. This could be either because they were obscure references unable to be easily recalled, or due to my overestimation of the feline ability to acknowledge my awesomeness. I’m leaning heavily towards the latter.
These examples are simply ones I have noticed during my infrequent visits here. No doubt I have missed many others, and perhaps I may have misattributed one or two, so this is your opportunity to add/subtract/praise lavishly.
The challenge will be to find words that both inform and entertain. Creative expletives, for example, while they may seem accurate and serve to express our private frustration, may not have the wider appeal that a word needs to become known and used beyond a narrow societal sub-group or echo chamber.
Obviously we also need to avoid anything potentially libellous, and please, let’s not get distracted by the argument about what the ‘W’ in ‘SJW’ stands for. Remember, we want to focus on NEW words.
Undoubtedly there will be playful eye-gouging, voodoo incantations, and tear-and-spittle-flecked tantrums over the effectiveness of each suggestion, but again, the beginning is here and now, with our language. It is one thing we can always control. If we choose to. That’s the key word here – choice.
It would be a wasted opportunity if the words we chose to use on here amongst ourselves simply sat in a clichéd dusty corner, slipped into a coma through lack of TLC, and decomposed gracefully under the pile of mouldy, unsold Malcolm Turnbull biographies titled “I Did It.”