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Let our language go free
Posted March 6, 2009

In the fast moving world we live in, language is the only way to get around successfully. But what happens when the language we know is twisted and turned, and meanings are switched to serve a description that they do not read in the dictionary.

I have come to the realization that most people have completely morphed the concept of some of our daily words. Because America’s slang has become so wide and full of different phrases, the true meanings of words have become lost in the pop culture we thrive in.

Sadly, people who have not come to follow this journey through the evolution of language find themselves stuck between naivety and the defense of refusing to accept change.

We view slang as the enemy, and fail to realize it is a part of our growing culture. The definition of a word no longer can really hold to the rule of its roots, instead opinion is the factor in which a word is perceived.

What is the right or wrong way to pronounce tomato? And if someone uses the word gay to express an instance to be unfair is that a slang expression, or should we derive it from its definition to mean happy? Can we really subject certain words to a social group and expect it to stick?

How can we take language, which is so precious and dear to our history, and treat it like it is a piece of molding clay?

The freedom of speech is listed in the First Amendment, and when we think about this can we really allow ourselves to judge another by the words he or she uses. When do we view a word as being an attack on human rights and a action based off of a persons right of speech.

Today we focus primarily on the way a word or phrase is perceived by the receiver. Countless times a person has reacted irrationally or out of manner because of the way they feel about a word.

The tongue is said to be a double-edged sword, one that can praise a person in one breath and in another cut them down to nothing.

How can we learn to wield this weapon that is built within us from birth? Do we now judge every person who uses an improper term to describe his or her emotion?

Can we subject ourselves to strike down every being who is following the change in our language to simply stay afloat in every day life?

We need to stop making mountains out of mole hills and take these words that have come to evolve over time and look at them from a different point of view.

Hold the meanings of these words as if they were your own. Fall into them and look at them from all different sides of the social spectrum.

As they are being spoken to you stop yourself from jumping toward the defense and take a step back to see what is going on.

We are so quick to correct and no longer learn, because of this we are not able to successfully move on in the world.

We have to realize words are painted in a variety of colors and we must stop trying to force them through a pinhole.

Let language go free and view it in a way that will liberate the mind and not lock yourself in the past.

Samantha Sincock, a sophomore journalism major, is Web editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at samantha.sincock@laverne.edu.