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I Want my Language Back
“He who controls the language controls the masses.” – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals
The fall of the culture can be seen in the fall of the language. It’s no surprise to most reading this that those with a liberal bias are working diligently to control the language. The most simple, and most obvious, example may be found in the word ‘gay.’ As a child, I remember my grandmother saying that a relative was gay because she had just received a letter from a loved one who was overseas on military active duty. ‘Gay’ clearly meant happy. That is no longer the main definition of that word. *
Language shapes our thoughts.
When we consider a young child’s activities, they appear to be simple to adults. That’s because they are. Almost by definition, a child has limited language. They simply haven’t been around long enough to have acquired a large vocabulary. Therefore, they are not capable of transferring more mature concepts into their understanding, which means they cannot yet do those things that adults find to be basic. Language shapes our thoughts and, therefore, our actions, too.
This week most Americans will have an opportunity to enjoy a brief vacation from their workday due to the national holiday on July 4th, Independence Day. This writer has been asked numerous times about plans for “the fourth.” Social media is rife with announcements regarding celebrations for “the fourth.” Stores have announced sales in honor of “the fourth.”
Our language has been changed right under our eyes, and we haven’t noticed. Rarely is the term “Independence Day” used regarding these things. This use of the words “the fourth” has diminished the meaning and history behind what we are actually celebrating. We don’t celebrate the fourth day of July simply because it is the fourth day of July. Sadly, many Americans have no idea what we are celebrating, yet they will go out to the beach, enjoy their backyard cookouts, and watch the fireworks show honoring “the fourth.”
In case you missed it, July 4th marks Independence Day, the day the Declaration of Independence was signed by our Founding Fathers** stating that this land was a free and independent country and no longer under the authority of the British crown. This happened in 1776 – at this writing, that was 243 years ago. It marks the beginning of our declared freedom as a new country, although our Constitution establishing our foundation would not be written for another 11 years in 1787.
If we don’t remember our history, we cannot understand our current situation. Why are you free to enjoy a backyard cookout, a fireworks show, a day off from work, a vacation wherever you choose, and a million other things that you take for granted? Because the Founding Fathers were willing to risk their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” so that we would be a free nation. The penalty for renouncing loyalty to the British throne was death! These men were willing to lay down their lives for this and all of posterity (that’s you!) by signing their names to the Declaration of Independence. Indeed, it cost some of these men their lives when they were captured by British soldiers.
I often watch “man on the street” interviews in which young adults are asked questions regarding celebrations, candidates, or government
matters. The ones that sicken me the most are those in which they are asked the meaning of a specific holiday, such as Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, or Independence Day. Some interviewers will set up the question with a lie regarding the significance of the day and unwitting, uninformed, and uneducated adults will follow the lie like a sheep to slaughter.
How did we get to this point? We lost our language, which caused us to lose the concept behind it. If we allow ourselves to minimize the significance of this day, we should not be surprised when we lose the very thing that we are celebrating – freedom.
*Originally, ‘gay’ meant bowlegged: i.e. the gay man looked odd walking down the street with his bowed legs.
**One of the most widely held misconceptions about the Declaration of Independence is that it was signed on July 4, 1776. In fact, independence was formally declared on July 2, 1776, a date that John Adams believed would be “the most memorable epocha in the history of America.” On July 4, 1776, Congress approved the final text of the Declaration. It wasn’t signed until August 2, 1776.