October 12, 2010

Reserved Word Rumble

Buon giorno. This has been fermenting in my mind for quite a while, and finally got tapped and poured out. 

Do you know what a "reserved word" is? Normally, it's computer jargon for, "Don't go there, girlfriend". Ever try to name a file and get a "reserved word" error? You cannot use certain words in your file name because they belong to the computer system or application.

I've taken the expression and used it in other ways.

F'rinstance, a high school clique starts bandying a word about in their enthusiasm. Normie Nerdley tries to get in on the fun and uses the word along with them. Silence and death stares ensue. He did not earn the right to use that word with them, it was like a reserved word for that clique.

The most common example I can think of is the word "nigger". (Yes, I still have free speech and the Politically Correct Police haven't caught up to me, so let me get on with my example. It's not like I'm using it in reference to someone...sheesh.) Anyway, it's an emotion-laden, hate-filled word. Unless is used by black Americans. Have you seen the movie "Rush Hour"? No, the first one in the series... Chris Tucker's character is greeting people with, "What's up, my niggah?" Later, Jackie Chan's character (just in from Hong Kong), tries to be friendly and say, "Woss up my niggah?" Race riot ensues; he used the reserved word ("That's our word", I've heard people say, even though it should be nobody's word because of the anger it produces, capice?). Also, in "Silver Streak", Patrick McGoohan calls Richard Pryor a nigger, and Pryor says, "You don't know me well enough to call me a nigger!"

But I'm beginning to digress into funny scenes from movies.

Now I'm coming across a new, ugly episode of reserved words: freethinker (written various ways). Yes, I know that word has been around a long time, but it's growing in popularity. So is its reserved word status.

I even saw a Weblog rant about how Christians cannot be freethinkers because — now get this — by some kind of definition, Christians are not "freethinkers". Yep, Leroy Logic is using circular reasoning to protect a reserved word: You have to be an atheist or "skeptic" to say it, and Christians are not freethinkers because they're not freethinkers because we said so.
Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith earned three doctorates

I've noticed that "skeptic" is becoming a reserved word, along with "rationalist", "logical" and other words that, in context, mean, "I do not believe in God (or Christianity, or Jesus, or the Bible), and I clam those words as our words, and you can't use them!" Ironically, some so-called "freethinkers", "rationalists" &c. are actually badthinkers.

So, when you come across words like "freethinker", "skeptic", "rationalist" and similar, check the context. It's probably being used as an anti-Christian diatribe or other sneer. 

Those people love to play word games and bait others. I've encountered codswallop such as, "You xtians are deluded. I'm a freethinker!" (Another tangent: They use "xtian" as an emotional provocation, and then say, "What? It's a common expression. Don't be so sensitive". Yeah, you're fooling me big time, Blossom. And no, you don't own those words or have the right to control them.)

I'm just saying to watch for it. You'll see that I'm right. Again.

But guess what? I'm a freethinker, too; I don't have to think in the way you "skeptics" tell me to think. Now excuse me, I'm going to check and see if there's a new article by True Freethinker. Hey, dig this one on Nietzsche! Arrivederci.


Anonymous said...

You're free to think whatever you like but it does not make you a "freethinker". A freethinker is: a person who forms opinions on the basis of reason, independent of authority or tradition, esp. a person whose religious opinions differ from established belief.

That is not what you are. I am a freethinker you are not.

Stormbringer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stormbringer said...

I messed up my last comment, had to repost it.

"You're free to think whatever you like but it does not make you a "freethinker"."

Isn't that what defines a "freethinker"?

You're proving my point, that Christians, including the man with the three earned doctorates whose picture I inserted, cannot be freethinkers because Christians cannot be freethinkers. That is, atheism defines and holds the rights to the word "freethinker", so if you're not an atheist, by default, you are not a "freethinker".

I challenge you to consider some things. First, that you have biases and preconceptions that shape your worldview. Second, because everyone has their biases, you are just as much a freethinker as I am (or Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith, or the "True Freethinker", whose link I provided).

Here's a free thought: How about going to his link and sending him an e-mail, asking him to explain why he considers himself a freethinker? It may be fun for you.

By the way, I did not know that they had Cavemen in the United States Navy. Pound those engines into submission, Sailor! My father was in the USN in World War 2, but did not see active duty. I wear his tags in memory on Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

Anonymous said...

I gave you the dictionary definition of freethinker. It isn't just Atheists that think word means what I just said... So does the people at Websters.

Oh and I am not an Engineman I am an Electronics Tech. I look like a caveman, yet my IQ says otherwise. In other words I look like I should not be an electronics tech, should not be intelligent... but I am.

Anonymous said...

Can I keep making jokes involving a caveman's club or will you become offended? I've wanted to club some of my own electronics...

Yes, you are using the established definition. I am contesting it because the basis of the term involves preconceptions. Thanks for your comments.

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