Sunday 31 July 2016

#160 Language reclaim

Don't tell me you're not a racist
Yes I know what that word means
It's obvious you don't throw bricks
through people's window screens
You're really quite a pleasant chap
and peaceful so I've heard
but I'd like to change the meaning
that attaches to the word

Let me give you an example
as that might help to explain
A cyclist has a racing bike
and takes it on the train
If he spots another rider
with a different coloured bike
it's unlikely he'll be violent
if it's one he doesn't like

Does a florist get aggressive
over different kinds of lilly?
No, that isn't what the word means
If it was, it would be silly.
Does a typist shout abuse
if something's not their favourite font?
I suppose it might be funny
and they can do if they want
but when recounting the tirade
I think it's better we resist
the urge to sum up their wrongdoing
with a small affix like "ist".

Now that's all well, I hear you say
but what instead then shall we use
when summarising a display
of inappropriate abuse
as if it's vital there exists
a word for this specific kind of hate
is it too hard to simply say
that criminal is not my mate?
Then leave the "ists" and "isms"
to mean what they elsewise would.
This might make our language clearer
at least I think that it could.