Why must we always call a horse a horse? What is wrong with calling it a perd when talking to an Afrikaans person, a paard when talking to a Dutch person, a cheval when talking to a French person, and a knight when playing chess?
I don’t like the idea of forcing everyone to speak English. What is English anyway? Which dialect of English? Which accent? Sure, with time they could improve their understanding of English, but these things take time. I’m much more interested in communicating accurately, than using a particular “approved” word. Who chooses which words are “approved”, anyway?
So there are a couple of words I have maybe been abusing. Or maybe I have been using them correctly, but they are misunderstood due to abuse elsewhere. For example, I’m not always sure whether I use “modernism” and “post-modernism” correctly. However, I have a good idea what I mean, and I believe most of my audience have a good idea what I mean.
I could spend hours and hours reading philosophy and books from other relevant fields, in order to find the correct, “approved” words. To what ends though? I’m not really convinced this will help me communicate to my target audience, who have not read the same books. I’m convinced that attempting to define every word perfectly, is to attempt to build another Tower of Babel.
The other option, if people are concerned about word-abuse, is that I could coin new words (shock, horror) to describe the concepts I’d like to describe. That way those that follow the blog will have a good idea of what I’m trying to say, while those that drop in out-of-the-blue will see gobbledygook and not understand, which might be better than misunderstanding?
Take Mythos and Logos… in some conversations, I have potentially been abusing these words. A translation of Logos that most closely matches the way I have been using it in recent informal conversations, can apparently be found in Faust:
The notorious question of how to translate logos is topicalised in Goethe’s Faust, with Faust finally opting for “deed, action” (Am Anfang war die Tat).
The alternative suggested by Lousirr during early morning insomniac hours at a time of high stress, would be to coin the words “Meh” and “Lah”, with “Meh” representing the concept I’ve been using “Mythos” for, and “Lah” representing the concept I’ve been using “Logos” for. (Anyone interested in Lousirr’s Meh/Lah rant?)