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View Diary: Propaganda: What it is and what it isn't. (79 comments)

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  •  say what now? (1+ / 0-)
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    AoT
    If enough people are wrong about the meaning of a word then that word has another meaning.
    no; it just means that a lot of people are !@#$%& wrong.

    a lot of people use "equivocate" when they mean something akin to "treat as equal."  but equivocate means what it means; the incorrect usage is just wrong, not a redefinition.

    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Sun Sep 08, 2013 at 05:43:20 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Linguists would disagree (1+ / 0-)
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      AoT

      with you.  Word meanings change and evolve over time and are defined by use in a community of speakers.  The best you can say is that for one population or at one time "equivocate" meant that.  It's not as if there are Platonic forms floating about in some eternal ideal space defining meaning.  This is just linguistics 101.

      •  As I've pointed out elsewhere (2+ / 0-)
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        serendipityisabitch, Cedwyn

        if you're going to privilege the popular use of propaganda as a synonym for lying, it follows that you must treat the accusation of "propaganda" the same as you would an accusation of lying. That is, proof must be presented or the accusation must be withdrawn.

        Are you prepared to do that?

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Sun Sep 08, 2013 at 11:47:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The english language, and all languages (0+ / 0-)

      are built on words and phrases changing meanings. That's just how language works. Nice used to mean something very different than what it does now, and still would if words didn't change meaning based on usage. But they do change meaning, or acquire new meanings. There are times when people misuse words and phrases and it's perfectly fine to correct them, but once a definition is commonly used enough then the word really means that. There is no determinant of meaning other than popular usage.

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