So … “Latinx”?
Elizabeth Warren used the term recently and initially I thought it was a typo in the transcript I was reading. Then I discovered, apparently I haven’t been paying sufficient attention to the ever-transmogrifying state of our language. It’s a bear, I tell ya, trying to keep up with the swirling kaleidoscope of new words, phrases and definitions that comprise trendy twenty-first-century jabber.
Yes, “Latinx” has lately been minted an actual word.
Thus, instead of “Latino” or “Latina” we now have “Latinx”. Those first two, you see, conform to long-standing “gender” guidelines. (Note: I’m using “gender” here in its once-assumed grammatical sense: nouns and pronouns identified as masculine or feminine in languages such as Latin, French, German, etc.)
“Latino”, for example, indicates a male who hails from a Central or South American nation; “Latina” is, therefore, it’s equivalent but for a female from those same regions.
Pero, no mas! For today’s culturally sensitive types, “Latinx” is the only acceptable way to go.
I’m assuming it’s all the result of goofy Leftism, which requires otherwise sensible folks to fixate on matters of ethnicity or race. That accounts for the “Latin-” part. Meanwhile, we’re to dismiss questions of sex — i.e., man or woman? — as mere disposable “social constructs”. It follows, linguistically, “-o” and “-a” are definitely out; “x” is where it’s at. The “x” in “Latinx” is designed to ex-out the distinctions between the señors and señoras.
My first impression? Lots of individuals have way too much leisure time on their hands.
My second, more chilling impression? This is just another cog in an inexhaustible pattern: the assault on language, which is proxy for the assault on culture, society, truth. Change the meaning of words and change how people talk, think, live — eventually, change how the world operates; even if the process generates chaos, and the final result is catastrophe.
Some of the highest-caliber intellects of the ages have recognized this forbiddingly consequential dynamic.
“As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent too. Words are used to disguise, not illuminate,” warned George Orwell.
Cicero: “Nothing is so unbelievable that oratory cannot make it acceptable.”
Joseph Conrad: “Words … are the great foes of reality.”
A generation back, historian Paul Johnson sounded his own prescient alarm:
[O]ne principal way in which our civilization is rendered vulnerable to the assaults of its enemies (and false friends) is by the undermining of linguistic truth. [Language] is the bloodstream of our culture, the real infrastructure of civilization…. Words can be prostituted and debauched, damaged by use, misuse or intent, rendered untruthful or treacherous, devalued or aggrandized, stood, as it were, on their heads, or turned inside out…. So long as we have language, we cannot be wholly enslaved, or wholly uncivilized….
More succinctly, Stalin, Goebbels or one of the twentieth-century’s Big Bad Guys is alleged to have said, “He who controls the language rules the world.”
This century’s secular Progressives understand this principle, leveraging it masterfully, waylaying word usage to coax along or, failing that, bully along transformation in people and the civilization around them.
Yes, bully: You can’t say “Latino” any longer. It’s “Latinx”!
“How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!,” Samuel Adams wrote to John Pitt two-hundred-forty-three-years ago. And the American statesman/Founding Father was not only correct but foresightful. Modern-day Leftism/Progressivism is, at its core, tyrannical and it employs language to warp perceptions of reality, because reality is opposed to most Leftist/Progressive tenets.
As a sample of what he styles “the latest in a long line of … redefinitions”, Ben Shapiro adduces “freedom”, which “traditionally meant the ability to make your own decisions — and live with the consequences.” Today’s pop-socialist politicians have rejiggered “freedom” to mean: no financial burdens; specifically, no student debt.
See how it works? Tweak the word, tweak an indebted college graduate’s life – at taxpayers’ expense.
Humorist Finley Peter Dunne once jibed, “When we Americans are through with the English language, it will look as if it had been run over by a musical comedy.” (h/t George Will)
Words are a big deal in part because God likes them. He is the supremely communicative Being. “Thus says the Lord” is a biblical watchword, a regular feature of the Scriptures. As Francis Schaeffer audaciously announced nearly forty years ago, “He is here, and He is not silent.”
Made in God’s image, man is built to be a similarly communicative creature as well, whether via written or verbal means; a uniquely speaking being; not just another “animal”.
God the Father sent His Son as the exquisite and ultimate expression of His person. That’s why Jesus is famously denominated “The Word” (John 1:1). The Savior assured, “He who has seen Me, has seen the Father” (John 14:8). He is the Creator conveyed to humanity in flesh-and-blood form.
God also left us a literal, indited witness: His written revelation comprised of the Old and New Testaments. “God Himself condescended to teach me the way,” exulted John Wesley in his Sermons on Several Occasions (1746). “He hath written it down in a Book. Oh, give me that Book! At any price give me the Book of God!”
Because God’s words are vital … people’s words matter as well.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21)
It makes sense, then, that anti-God systems and ideologies would direct their malevolence toward what men say, how they say it, aiming to twist, distort, abuse, manipulate these communications. It’s an age-old strategy, turbo-charged for this generation, to blinker and anaesthetize individuals and communities to reality; to no-less-than the Absolute Reality. Corrupting words can muck up life now and life eternal.
None but fools surrender the integrity of language without a fight.
Of course, spouting their “Latinx”, their addled definitions of heretofore perfectly serviceable terms, fools hardly seem to be lacking nowadays.
Image: Creative Commons; CC By-SA 2.0; Adapted from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mdfriendofhillary/7006244903