Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mincing Words

The word I want to mince today is: Discrimination.

Webster’s Dictionary defines discrimination as the process by which two stimuli differing in some aspect are responded to differently; or the quality or power of finely distinguishing. My computer thesaurus lists good taste, insight, perception, and refinement as some of the meanings.

Morris the Cat was applauded for his discriminating taste in 9 Lives cat food commercials. (Or was that the Persian cat in the Sheba commercials?) So in cat language, discrimination means "finicky."

This is one of many words the news media or other public factions have vilified or corrupted. Its definition changed from finely differentiating to bigotry or racism.

And someone created the term Reverse Discrimination to describe an act of segregation against Caucasian people.

Talk show host Janet Parshall used that term on her radio program, In the Market, to describe an incident in which a college rejected a student’s application, not because of low grades, but because of her white ethnicity.  

The reverse of any action means that action occurs in the opposite direction; or reverses course, or inverts. If that’s correct, then reverse discrimination would actually mean acceptance. Did the college admissions board members disallow the student based on their bias or bigotry against a specific race? That isn’t acceptance. That’s bigotry.

My aim here is not to throw a rock at Janet Parshall. She’s a wonderful emcee and well-informed speaker. I enjoy her Moody Radio program on my way home from work. But it’s a bit disappointing to hear our friends and favorite broadcasters fall into the trap set by the enemy who wants to confuse and confound our language. As a Christian writer, I feel a duty to protect our form of communication and use words in their proper function.

Now, I’ll use my discriminating taste to decide where to have supper tonight.