We Have Destroyed Language

We have destroyed language.  What do I mean?  I mean that words, to have any meaning, must have a clearly identifiable referent.  For instance, if I say the word “apple,” everyone knows I am referring to a specific type of fruit.  The picture below should be in keeping with what most people understand by the word “apple:”

McIntosh with sticker by Lars Zapf 2006-03-30 cropped

Likewise, if I say the word “orange,” it should conjure up in people’s minds some sort of image like this:

ATIIIII

But now we say that having clearly understood and identifiable referents for words is “hateful,” “discriminatory,” “bigoted,” “intolerant,” etc.  We say that being is a state defined by subjective rather than external, objective standards.  And so, using our new, enlightened postmodern manner of thinking, this is an apple:

McIntosh with sticker by Lars Zapf 2006-03-30 cropped

And so is this:

ATIIIII

And this is an orange:

ATIIIII

And so is this:

McIntosh with sticker by Lars Zapf 2006-03-30 cropped

These are apples:

Apple and Orange - they do not compare

And these are oranges:

Apple and Orange - they do not compare

Now tell me, using our new postmodern language, what do the words “apple” and “orange” now mean?

To move the discussion into a sphere where postmodern thought and language are currently being aggressively pushed, this is a man:

And this is a woman:

Now tell me please, what do the words “man” and “woman” now mean?  I submit that in a postmodern world, the terms are now meaningless.  They have no objective, clearly identifiable referent.  A man is a woman is a man just like in the above example where an apple is an orange is an apple.  I am both a man and a woman and neither because the words “man” and “woman” now signify nothing.  I have been defined and re-defined out of existence.  This, of course, is the end-result of adopting postmodern and Marxist philosophy and many are glad to embrace it.  I wonder, though, how many will still be willing to stay on the bandwagon once “poison” and “medicine” become indistinguishable.

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One thought on “We Have Destroyed Language

  1. […] M. Briggs makes the same point I recently made.  In order for language to work, terms need to have referents.  When a man claims to be a woman, […]

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