Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Monday, July 18, 2016

Noah

 If we can't agree on what the written words say, how can we agree upon anything ?  That is the question I have. In trying to have an intelligent, informed conversation about a topic I often run into this problem. I will get a response like, I know what it says, but that isn't what it means. Then I just raise my hands in frustration. Okay, then just how am I supposed to interpret those words ? The way you tell me to ? That is rather like listening to the used car salesman isn't it ? I'm sure I can trust them to tell me the complete truth of the matter. Isn't that why we invented the written word, to convey our thoughts ? I can understand it when you are playing pallor games, or just making a pun, I get that. I'm talking about religious texts, governing documents and the like.
They were written to be clear in their meaning. Take the second amendment to the constitution. Its' meaning is very clear to me. They said what they meant. Now, there seems to so many different ideas about that as to be completely useless. And that is just one little example. I know what it says but that isn't what it means ? Really ? Amendment Nine says, " The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. " Seems clear to me. Just because a certain right is guaranteed by the constitution that doesn't mean it can be used to deny or disparage other rights of the people. In short, it means only what was written. It doesn't mean because I am guaranteed the right to bear arms that right can be used to deny other rights. Or disparage them for that matter. And that is what I am talking about. How can we agree on the meaning of the words ?
 I guess it is because I am a word guy. I like to say what I mean, as succinctly as possible. I like to be direct. That quality doesn't mix well with litigation and a litigious society. There is no doubt that the United States is a litigious society. If you don't think so, check the billboards along the highway ! If you have a phone or a computer, you have a lawyer ! Not happy with what that lawyer did, hire one to sue him ! I often wonder just how we got to this point ? Used to be a man could settle his own disputes without hiring a team of lawyers. Lawyers were there to record the transaction in a legal fashion, not to fabricate the deal. Then the lawyers began to tell us what the law actually meant. That is where the wheels fall off I think. When we began to rely upon " individual interpretation " of each word or phrase to establish the overall context we started the process. Just what does the word We mean ? Is that two people, three, more or less ? Who are the people ? All the people, only legal citizens ? Who is a citizen ? Who is legal ? By what definition ?  See the problem now ? There isn't enough words to completely describe anything without some ambiguity being present. And it is that that feeds the lawyers. That is the basis for litigation. Ambiguity does not a strong foundation make !
 So I guess that is my problem. I have a tendency to say exactly what I mean. Sometimes it hurts other peoples feelings and that is unfortunate. I try to do that only when I feel it necessary. As Mom says, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. But, is that what she means ? Yes, it is what she means. It is just that I feel compelled to speak out anyway due to some perceived injustice that needs correcting. I have appointed myself judge and jury. Problem with that is I can get myself sued. I need to hire a lawyer. Yes, your honor that is what he said, but it isn't what he meant ! Hey, the FBI just said Hillary broke the law but she didn't mean to and that's alright. See my point there ? The FBI went on to say it wasn't her fault, she was just extremely reckless and stupid.
 Perhaps we need to find another Noah Webster. He published his dictionary in 1828. It was widely accepted and regarded as the definitive work on the English language in America. He defined the words ! Noah knew just what word meant what. I wonder though about composition. Noah Webster was also known for writing essays concerning topics that he felt important. I have read a couple of them and believe me he was direct. He came right to the point. " No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people." Noah Webster. Pretty clear to me what he thought. Well, some called him arrogant but he was clear. Perhaps we need a new Noah. Webster or otherwise, to tell us all what the words mean. Once we understand the words, the rest should be easy.