Re: Words is only words????

Thu, 5 Jan 1995 23:28:09 -0500

This is the first of two responses I'll be sending to the lists, so...

In answer to Douglas D-St.C (who didn't really ask a question, but), I'm
one of those people who says words is words. The sounds and symbols have
no power of there own, only what WE choose to make of them. I once read
an article by Ann Landers, who told her readers that, instead of swearing,
they should say something like "horsehockey" and they'd realize how silly
it all is. Ever see that work? I haven't.
[sorry, on the 3rd line it should have said "of THEIR own"]

Oftentimes, word changers seem to feel that concepts which are denotations
are separate from those which are connotations for the same term. Take
'handicap': it has a bad connotation, so if we change the word, we won't
think of these people as less-than-able. But it doesn't work that way -
the concepts are not only linked to the word, they're linked to each other.
Attach the denotation to a new word and the connotation comes along for the

Now, as for the word that started this whole thing off, 'I-am' (oops! not
that far back!) 'mankind,' I'm surprise feminists haven't turned this one
to their advantage. English has a special word for women, but none for
men. What does this tell us? That women are important, but we men are
generic. Catchy, don't ya think?

-Pat Crowe, SUNY at Buffalo