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Anti-Semitism Means What?
Posted: 14 October 2007 04:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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After being castigated, Jones slunk away home.

Siegfried smote the dragon.

She was smitten with him.

wink

BTW, Steven Pinker has a wonderful book on irregular verbs like these and what they mean about language.

Words and Rules is its name. Very readable and highly recommended.

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Posted: 14 October 2007 04:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Again, try and use the African hypothetical as a thought experiment. Imagine if that was the “common” use or how it was “correctly” defined in dictionaries. Would there (not) be some form of prejudice against all other African nations other than Ghana or special status given to Ghana if the terms were defined as such?

I guess the irony I see is that we recognize a prejudice in the form of another prejudice.

Truthaddict, are you saying that our common usage of anti-semite is an act of prejudice in itself because by using it as only referring to Jews we are not recognizing other semite groups and perhaps the prejudice they experience? 
If that’s the point you are trying to make, I think I would say that “anti-semite” has evolved within the context of western culture and history.  There was a time when the western world was not as connected globally to such a diverse groups as it is now.  Jews were the predominant semite group within western civilization for centuries and so the use of the term made sense.  There was no need to have to distinguish between other semite groups.  Now that the west is so initimately intertwined with other semite nations, you could argue that it’s exclusiveness to Jews is prejudicial.  But the fact that it has an historical basis to it should, I think, dissuade people from thinking that way.  It’s hard to change the usage of a word that’s been around for so long, but perhaps it eventually will change in it’s usage in response to the current times.


edited by mckenzievmd to open quotation and change color (blue is for official admin messages)

[ Edited: 14 October 2007 05:46 PM by mckenzievmd ]
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Posted: 14 October 2007 05:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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dougsmith - 14 October 2007 04:09 PM

After being castigated, Jones slunk away home.

Siegfried smote the dragon.

She was smitten with him.

wink

I don’t know.  I think I prefer, ‘After being castigated, Jones slank away home.  And, ‘He has smut her.’


Occam

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Posted: 14 October 2007 05:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Occam - 14 October 2007 05:28 PM

I don’t know.  I think I prefer, ‘After being castigated, Jones slank away home.  And, ‘He has smut her.’

LOL LOL

You’ve convinced me, Occam.

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Posted: 14 October 2007 05:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Ach, and you guys say the postmodernists are cruel to language! Stop already!!!! wink

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Posted: 17 October 2007 08:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Apparently, if we use words enough their meanings will change less.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/16/science/16obword.html?ref=science

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Posted: 17 October 2007 09:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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birdseyeview - 14 October 2007 04:41 PM

Truthaddict, are you saying that our common usage of anti-semite is an act of prejudice in itself because by using it as only referring to Jews we are not recognizing other semite groups and perhaps the prejudice they experience?

intentionally or unintentionally, yes.

I am not saying that prejudice towards jews should not be labled anti-semitism. I am simply saying that anti-semitism should apply to all semites. End of story.

And to generally respond to other comments about changing language: the meaning of our words do change and one of the best ways to begin that process is to recognize limitations or flaws in the words/phrases we use. It was not too terribly long ago that phrases like “Orientalism” were NOT considered offensive.

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Posted: 06 November 2007 08:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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The term “Antisemitism” seems to have a lot of you confused. The term was invented during the 19th Century because “semite” was synonymous with “Jew” in the pseudoscientific racial theories of Jew haters in Europe. “Antisemite” was originally a polite term for “Jew hater”. One Jew hater’s association was entitled the Antisemite’s League…Antisemiten-Liga.

It is quite foul to note that this term…popularized by Jew haters…is now used as a taunt by Jew haters who claim that Jews think of themselves as the only Semitic tribe. Quite vile. 

Get over yourselves.

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