Monday, November 9, 2009

the words we use

I am fascinated by the words we use. I know. I am a bit of a geek. I simply find it interesting that words and their meanings change over time. I also find it interesting how we manipulate the meanings of words.
I have been thinking of this again recently as news reports about the shooting at Fort Hood have been coming out on various websites and news stations. The most recent report that I read, on the BBC, reported from a statement from the FBI that Major Hasan "was not involved in terrorist activities or terrorist planning."
It simply does not make any sense to me how the meaning of the word "terrorism" and "terrorist" have changed so much over the past few years. As far as I am concerned, the acts of Major Hasan were acts of terror. He created terror, a violent act intended to cause fear. Whether it was his intent when he set out to shoot people that he would cause terror or not, (how could it not have been, but I have no way of knowing what he was thinking) his act was an act of terrorism, regardless of whether the FBI believe it to be or not.
This week is remembrance day. A day set aside to reflect on those people who have given their lives for our freedom, both here and abroad. I don't pretend for one minute to have insight into the pain that of those who have lost loved ones or who have suffered themselves as they have been exposed to conflicts while representing their countries and defending freedom.
I am grateful beyond words. My gratitude will not change, no matter what words come to mean in the passage of time. I simply hope that the way we use and change the meaning of our words will not bring more pain to those who live through the terror. I hope their pain is not marginalized by our manipulation of language, and because the "FBI" said so.

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