Culture and the Meaning of Words

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This entry is meant to be a lesson in culture values. You may also find it creates some thought about values, period. We all have our values. Maybe we are clear on them and perhaps they are cloudier than black and white.

Often, we put labels on these values. Some religion, someplace we live. I am clear on my values. I am an American Hippie, male, full-stop.  Of course I don't know what judgments you have from that classification. I know what it means to me.

It means I value and prefer the paths of peace (over violence), love (as opposed to hate) and understanding (if not personally agreeing).

Recently another person that I value highly and for a long time period was informing me of a positive event. I responded with, "That's great shit!" The receiver of this positive note informed me they did not see anything great about shit, overall.

That was a surprise to me. And it got me thinking about how the meanings of words a sender of information may intend can be taken in a completely different context. Not long ago, I was leading a break out session for Small Business Nation. I opened like this.

Raise your hand if you know Harry. Ok thanks. Now raise your hand if you know Bee. Thanks. Now everyone put your hands down, and only raise one if you know both of them. OK, great. Now keep your hand up if you just met them at this conference. Oh Wow. Thank you.

To those who have your hands up now, I'm sorry. I forgot to tell you I invited a guest to be among us. That would be Moses. I invited him to be with us in a meta-physical way today. Now I suppose you cannot see him because he just fell off of his chair and on to the floor. Because in his world and language, those with your hands in the air just publically admitted that you just met this male and female here at this conference. And that you enjoyed them both so much you engaged in after hour's physical activity, with both of them last night.

Oh shit.

I have been doing considerable research on that word the past few days. It turns out that in the USA and Western Canada, the word shit has become a variable, such as X in math, or foo in computer programming. It is far more flexible than ‘stuff' because it can be used for as a variable for physical things, in addition to the expression of emotions.

No shit.

Asking about, our fluid language adopted this new variable somewhere about 1962. George Carlin created a monologue about in the mid- 60's. The monolog was popular because of the vast and rapid change over from something less than pleasant in many cases, to a variable.

I fully admit some American citizens do not particularly enjoy this variable. I only have to look as far as some of my own siblings to realize this. To that I say, tough shit.

Years ago, it was a national shock when on screen in the movie, Gone With the Wind; Clark Gable said to Scarlett, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." I suspect if the movie was made in the ‘60's, he would have used the variable that has been so popular for almost 50 years. Or maybe not. It might not have raised the shock value. Well, since they didn't make the movie in the ‘60's, I don't give a shit. If you do, tell me about in the comments.

Tcat Houser is a trainer in Information Technology as well as assisting people understand the most complex computer all, the human brain. This necessitates his being a professional Road warrior.

As A Certified Technical Trainer and Subject Matter Expert (SME) @ TRCB.com it can be difficult to figure out what Tcat is currently researching.

See my lastest work at TRCBVideos.com - Convert Articles, Reviews into Videos Automagically.

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