As noted by George Orwell, George Carlin, and many others throughout history who may or may not have been named George, controlling language is a great way to control how people think. If there’s an idea going around out there that you don’t like, you tell people it’s forbidden to talk about it. But what if you can’t stop them from talking about it? Well, then you just change the meaning of what they’re talking about. If you can’t prove ’em wrong, you can always change the definitions of the words they’re using until you’re suddenly right.
For instance, let’s say you work for a prominent American political party that rhymes with “Them o’ brats.” And as always, you’re angry that there are actually people out there who disagree with you and you want them to shut up. You always want them to shut up. So, rather than engage with their argument and try to convince them of your point of view, you literally change the dictionary to prove them wrong.
Seriously. They’re doing that now. Tom Tillison, BizPac Review:
Dictionary.com finds itself under fire on social media over a recent adjustment of its definition of “court packing,” not that the online dictionary site was deterred, hitting back to defend its actions…
The change was an addition that reads: “the practice of changing the number or composition of judges on a court, making it more favorable to particular goals or ideologies, and typically involving an increase in the number of seats on the court: Court packing can tip the balance of the Supreme Court toward the right or left.”
The original definition, which centered on President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s efforts to add justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, was bumped to the secondary definition.
Here’s what that looked like:
Latest capture on 11/1: https://t.co/3MdrEMAmnx
— J. D. Graham (@jd_graham_) December 8, 2020
Language evolves. So do we.
— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) December 8, 2020
See how easy that is? For months, Democrats have been babbling about Trump “packing the courts,” by which they mean “filling open judicial appointments.” They hate him so much that they can’t stand him using his power legally, so they’re lying about it.
And they’ve been using that false definition to justify their calls for actual court packing, which means adding more justices to the Supreme Court until they get the result they want. As with most things in life, this attitude is best explained by referring to a Bill & Ted movie:
You see what Death was doing there? “Best two out of three… best three out of five… best of seven…” Every time he lost, he just insisted on another chance to win. He couldn’t beat them fair and square, but he also couldn’t admit they were better than he was.* So he kept stalling. That’s what the Dems want to do with the Supreme Court. If nine justices won’t give them the result they want, they want to keep adding justices until they start getting their way. It’s fundamentally dishonest, which is why Democrats like the idea so much.
And recruiting a damn dictionary to help them is even more dishonest. That’s not “language evolving.” That’s changing the terms of the argument because you’re losing it. It’s the behavior of a child.
One big reason for Donald Trump’s 2016 victory was this sort of dishonesty among people who think they’re better than you are. A lot of Americans are so fed up with being lied and condescended to that they elected that guy. But the condescending liars haven’t learned a thing from it. Their attitude is: Trump is a jerk, so why can’t they be jerks too?
Then they wonder why you don’t trust them.
*Until he finally did admit it, because Death is a dick but he’s not a mega-dick.