Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On Taking on a New Meaning

Wow, talk about a reversal of meaning. I have always been amazed at the power of words. When people of same-sex sexual orientation sought to cast their members in a better light, they launched the new word to describe themselves: gay. Life became suddenly better for them and “being gay” became a thing not to hide from.

Then the homophobes took their proud term and turned it against them, so that anything that was socially unacceptable became “gay” and children and teenagers again brutalized their gay classmates with their use of the term.
As well, the term “Democrat.” Democrat is a noun and denotes a person who has an affiliation with the Democratic Party. But in one fell swoop, uber-conservative Republicans decided to make the term “Democrat,” a noun, into an adjective. The Democratic Party became known to them as the “Democrat Party.” They sought to smear their opponents with poor grammar. But these days you will hear more than one Democrat refer to their party as The Democrat Party, and all of a sudden, there goes the ill-wind out of the sails of poor grammarians.
And now, come to find out, there is new meaning to the term “carrying a torch” for someone. It’s here.
Before when one carried a torch for someone it meant that they had lost the love of someone but still pined away for them to come back to them. Now however, carrying a torch for someone takes on new meaning in the story of an Olympic Torch bearer, one David State, who in the quadrennial ritual of the passing of the torch from runner to runner from Mount Olympus to the site of the Olympic Games, ran his leg of the run, then midway paused to propose marriage to his girlfriend on bended knee.
There goes the meaning of yet another iconic idea.

No comments: