Over the years I’ve found that I have to make up new words for old concepts all the time. This is because the words that have been used for centuries have been so distorted out of shape that, when you speak them, people think you’re talking about something else. This is because many of these words have been associated with subjects that have become controversial or have been involved with some conflict or dispute. As a result, when you say these words people are actually thinking of the history or conflict that these words have been associated with and not what the words mean. As a result, there is continual misunderstanding and miscommunication. This has led me to have to come up with new words to describe old concepts, so as to avoid this problem.
Here are some examples that come to mind:
God – Here is a word that is often misunderstood, I’ve found. Because of all the religious problems and such from the past it conjures up all sorts of reactions. As a result, its generally misunderstood. Very few people speak of ‘God’ when they say God but the religious problems of the past.
Religion – This is similar to ‘God’ above. Just to mention religion will make some people skeptical and cautious about you.
Sexuality – Here’s a very misunderstood word, especially in the US. Just to hint at this word, or a subject associated with it, makes everyone think you are a pervert or something.
Freedom – Here is a word the US, in particular, has greatly distorted. The cold war greatly increased this distortion as well. There are as many variations of the word as there are people.
Democracy – There has been so many alterations of this word that I’m not sure what the word means any more.
Race – Here’s a word that is nothing but misunderstood here in the US. Just to refer to it bring back ideas of the race conflict in the 50’s and 60’s. Even to make a reference to someone’s race can make a person a ‘racist’. As a result, any reference to this word makes people think, not of what the word means, but the conflict in the past.
As a result of all this, I’m always having to come up with new words to describe these concepts so that there are no misunderstandings and misunderstandings. This has been very difficult to do, I’ve found. With some subjects I have to be careful that no one makes a ‘connection’. Otherwise, the conflict that surrounds the words are conjured up and now I will have to spend time ‘clarifying’ what I mean.
What this shows, I think, is that we are greatly missing and disregarding many important concepts and principles in life just because somewhere in the past there has been a conflict or dispute about it. It shows how our history actually limits our conception of things.