Semantics

Antipathy: noun. opposition in feelings.
Aversion: noun. feeling of repugnance toward; a settled dislike.
Criticize: verb. to stress the faults of.
Hate: noun. an intense hostility; an aversion deriving from anger; extreme dislike or antipathy.
Hate: verb. a strong aversion toward.

Without going into painful details explaining how and why, I had a great deal of time on my hands in junior high and high school after the homework and any home chores were done. I read a lot of books. Delivering book reports was not a problem as I had a stack that I’d already read. The books available were in Mom’s collection. Having been born in 1908, Mom’s library, mostly novels with poor, but beautiful heroines who regularly swooned, was from her generation and before her generation. They had a lot of big words in them.

I understand and am more than able to use eloquent words, words my dad referred to as 50 cent words, too fancy for the common man in an ordinary conversation. My peers had a hard time following me and would comment harshly. I caved. That could explain the criticism that I am blunt. (sigh)

Still, when I’m intensely expressing myself, I may pull out the half dollar venacular and fail to notice puzzled faces. As a result, I again put more effort in being understood in a shorter period of time with simpler verbosity rather than attempting to impress a disinterested audience with my lofty level of profundity. In other words, I back off, still careful with the grammar and pronunciation only because I am my mother’s daughter. We don’t want anyone spinning in her grave any more than she is already. In her world, accurate spelling held equal court with the written use of the language.

One of her greatest peeves was the harsh usage of the word hate. She had three daughters, passionate in their opinions and quick to voice them, too often using (that word). But, Mom, I really do (don’t you say it!). Man, you’d think I was cussin’. (There’s a G on the end of that, young lady!) You know, it’s really hard (difficult) for a kid in the heat of an angry moment to process more sophisticated terms rather than something so simple as (that word), namely the terms listed at the beginning of this post.

Recently I went on record using (that word) when I should have stopped long enough to reach for the dictionary and seek more acceptable terminology, terms which convey the message in a more intellectual manner without the coarseness of the four letter one. That’s what Mom was trying to force into our heads, not political correctness, a condition I have yet to totally embrace in all circumstances. In short, sometimes you have to smack the mule between the eyes with the 2×4 when you can’t gently point him in the preferred direction with a smile. Keep in mind the gentle attitude and smile must be tried first.

I apologize for the low-end terminology. (Happy now, Mom?) I was not intentionally lobbing the words at any specific individual. I was responding to the assumptions resulting in a global lashing out from all sources. I spoke out of frustration over the repetition of a particular criticism that has been on most occasions less than comprehensive in its scope e.g. Bush lied, people died. A chant. An angry, automatic and empty chant, when it’s delivered heatedly without any effort to consider the alternative. A lie is not a lie when the one speaking believes it to be the truth. And, yes, I was wide awake watching on live TV the admission of that statement from Michael Moore himself to Bill O’Reilly referring to President Bush as the speaker. Now we see new reports that WMDs thought to exist, then not exist, may actually exist. How quickly we assume what is true and what is not true when we want to believe something in particular.

Saying “intensely dislike” doesn’t gloss over anything. Yet, for the sake of decency and gracious courtesy, we can and should use 50 cent words to get our point across unless it’s absolutely, positively necessary to pull the 2×4 out of the back pocket. Use as much wisdom as possible.

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