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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

"'Blackmail" is such an ugly word... let's call it 'extortion'"

"'Blackmail" is such an ugly word... let's call it 'extortion'"
I can't remember if that's an actual line from some movie or just the joke one makes whenever the cliche of the first 6 words is uttered in a cheesily scripted thriller.

I was told once in a Latin class that the English word, "whore," (certainly an "ugly" word,) derives from the Latin/Italian "cor"/"cuore", it originated as a snarky euphemism, a pretense that a commercial sex provider was another's, (or ones own,) sweet "heart."
But alas, the word substituted for the unrespectable "prostitute," becomes itself unrespectable, and fools no one, least of all the person so labelled.
No idea if that's true, but such euphemism creep is common enough.
Look at the words we apply to handicaps, mental or physical. Cretin?

Euphemism creep is inevitable, and politically correct attempts to save or hide feelings by finding or inventing new vocabulary is a futile endeavour, it is like trying to wash the ocean to get the water off it....

And yet, we continue to try.

To "disordered" are we now to add "indissoluble"?
Some bishops have pointed to the word “indissoluble” in describing marriage as “too juridical.”
“I have never heard that before, but I get it, because what it conveys is not the indissolubility of a wedding band, but handcuffs.”
Yes, far better to tell someone engaged in a new relationship that  there already contracted marriage is .... what?
"Binding"? "Imperishable"? "Enduring"? "Permanent"? "Irrevocable"? "Unchanging"? "Lasting"? "Fixed"? "Indestructible"? "Abiding"?

Would any of those sit better with prelates dealing with the "lots of people out there who feel stuck"?

Is there really any word that describes the Catholic view of marriage that would be acceptable to those who would prefer to think a marriage is... Well, how is it that they think of some marriages?
"Out of warranty."
I'm sorry, madam, your marriage is out of warranty.
Thomas Cromwell should have used that one.
(So much nicer than "past it's sell-by date." That would be bad euphemism.)

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