Sunday, May 31, 2009

Torturing the language

Laer at Cheat-Seeking Missiles observes that the word "torture" has been redefined out of much of its shock value.

I’m old school. I still think torture involves breaking bones, stretching joints, electrocuting testicles, raping or murdering one’s spouse or children before your eyes, creating long-term craziness and, possibly, exposing one to lengthy recordings of Nancy Pelosi.

But I’m no dummy. I realize that the left has succeeded once again in seizing a perfectly good word and transforming it for their purposes. Remember tolerance? Gay? Torture has joined the club.

Now torture is widely accepted by liberal westerners to mean anything that causes discomfort - being growled at by dogs, having bugs in your cell, being exposed to heat or cold, or being waterboarded.

Another example is "rape". It used to be an appalling crime, but the feminist movement has redefined it as "any sex the woman the next day regrets having had." "Fascist" or "Nazi" means "anyone who dares to disagree with a Liberal". When words are redefined in this way, they lose their meaning.

Now, when someone calls something "torture", we don't know if we're being told about real torture (hot coals, bamboo slivers under nails, etc) or mere "not nice" treatment (food not piping hot when served, Koran not handled with kid gloves, the air conditioning not set at 72°F, etc).

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