The language battle has been in progress for well over a century, but it is now reaching a critical tipping point.
Take for example the family. Based upon standard dictionary definitions of the family, the European Convention on Human Rights says that everyone is entitled to family life. However, when the definition of a family is changed to included homosexual couples, their right to have children is then automatically granted by the European Convention on Human Rights, which was not considered when it was drawn up. This right can be satisfied for homosexual couples only by adoption or by in vitro fertilisation, so will they have ‘first choice’ for adoption and should the tax-payer pay for them to have in vitro fertilisation?
Similarly, changing the dictionary definition of other words immediately changes their meaning in countless pieces of legislation. The legislative changes necessitated by the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill is small fry compared with the wholesale change to British legislation by changing the definition of words.
This sleight of hand is the very essence of Orwellian – the deceptive and manipulative use of language to promote and support totalitarian agendas.
Goebbels employed propaganda in World War II and George Orwell demonstrated how language was abused to effect change in Animal Farm, published in 1945. He continued the theme of the abuse of language in his insightful and prophetic sequel 1984, written in 1948 and published in 1949, introducing the concepts of newspeak, doublespeak and thoughtcrime. His basic themes were supported by Hannah Arendt in her book The Origins of Totalitarianism, 1951.
Britain is in the middle of a language battle and we neglect it at our peril.
11 Aug 2015: copyrighting language.
24 Aug 2017: careless, thoughtless words.
26 Oct 2017: trying to redefine and criminalise sin.
26 Oct 2017: swear words demeaning and diminishing Christian terminology.
29 Jan 2018: farmers are being called ‘rapists’ for taking milk from cows. What does this tell us about our education system? This seems to amount to ‘find a nasty word and use it against those you do not like’. It is in the same league as those who accuse Israel of apartheid for having a security fence. When language is abused …
Jesus Christ warns: ‘every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment’ Mat 12:36.
26 Feb 2018: President Trump’s poor use of language; swearing is an evidence of a poor vocabulary and poor theology.
6 Jun 2018: both ‘gay’ and ‘pride’ have been taken over by the homosexual lobby, just as the rainbow image has been commandeered to their cause.
14 Aug 2018: now trout can be called salmon in China.
9 Feb 2019: Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson sprang to international attention when he resisted the Canadian government’s Bill C-16, which proposed including gender identity and orientation in the Canadian Human Rights Act. He does not oppose the terms themselves but their enforcement. It was his ’95 Theses, unexpected publicity, moment’ but it worth recalling that Ms antedates such gender-neutral terms as Ze for He or She by several decades and ‘The Language Battle’ is very much longer, going back at least as far as Nietzsche. It is more fundamental than the revision of history because it changes the very means of communication – the vocabulary of our language.
26 Sep 2019: the language in the House of Commons yesterday reached ‘boiling point’ according to the London Times. Andrew Neil on the BBC Politics Live today gave a list of over-the-top statements, referring to a rapper holding up a severed head of the Prime Minister to some acclaim, the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon calling the Prime Minister “a tin-pot dictator”, and David Lammy MP describing Brexiteers as “Nazis” and when challenged about it on the BBC he responded that they are “worse than Nazis”. In spite of the political debate, no-one has diagnosed the problem as an inability to speak the truth and telling it “as it is”.
13 Dec 2019: the Scottish Family Party has no definition of the family. On North Highland Radio on 4 Dec 2019 the leader of the SFP said that “the Scottish Family Party doesn’t have a policy on same-sex marriage”, begging the question on its definition of the family.
4 Jan 2020: others are noting the folly of modern debate and language and its likely effects: “we now have prohibitive laws based upon gibberish like this.”
6 Jan 2020: Nigel Farage wonders how careful he must be about the new ‘ism’ – ethical veganism – to be added to the list of protected species, sorry ‘status’, to be found in the unequal equalities legislation as it has been judged akin to a religion.
12 Feb 2020: the latest language battle is over ‘yid’ in the Oxford English Dictionary. Just as there is a list of unacceptable ethnic words (they cannot make up their mind about ‘colour or black’) and homosexual words, so there is list of antisemitic words and this debate continues. It is a product of the unequal Equality Act 2010.
10 Nov 2020: the latest victim to fall on the political correctness sword is Greg Clarke, who has resigned as Football Association chairman for using the term “coloured footballers” in a reference to black players. Although he explained that ‘coloured’ was the term he was expected to use in America, the BBC explained it was now “outdated and offensive language”. “Outdated” demonstrates the shifting goalposts of our secular society, and at least it gives some explanation to the rest of us who are not abreast with the latest debate on social media. What role do dictionaries now have except to tell us the historic meaning of words? As for their current meaning one needs to use the internet to keep up. Now I await a politically correct definition of ‘black’ lest one slips up in Black Lives Matter, BAME, etc. Indeed, who is and what is ‘white’ anyway? By the Mayor of London’s definition, BAME are “as all ethnic groups except White ethnic groups”, which amounts to the majority by my understanding, so are Whites now the minority and do minority rights now apply to Whites?
18 Nov 2020: in discussing the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, BBC Scotland news more than once used the phrase “racial or ethnic” and the website says that the vaccine “works equally well in people of all ages, races and ethnicities“. So what is the difference? Whereas there are different ethnicities there is only one human race and racism is the error of thinking that there is more than one. So one should speak of ethnic differences and not racial differences. This confusion is what I have come to expect from the shifting goalposts of secular morality, however, it is still worth documenting these shifts in secular opinion.
19 Nov 2020: the BBC has updated its webpage to remove “races” and now reads “all ages and ethnicities”. Progress. However, Pfizer has not yet changed its press release, which reads: “Efficacy was consistent across age, gender, race and ethnicity demographics“.