Monday, August 13, 2012

Semantics begging for a new word

Generally, I favor sentiment over semantics.  I get criticized for using overly specific language, and at times for being to minimalist, but when listening to other folks, I listen for the sentiment rather than picking apart the semantics.

Recently, however my mind really got locked down in a semantic exercise.  The term that stopped me was “religiously liberal”.  I’ve heard it often and in this instance, it wasn’t being used as a slant or even to me specifically.

What stopped me was the word order.  “Religiously liberal” means that I have social views which are informed by my religion.  On the other hand, “liberally religious” is someone who has an open-hearted view of religion.

Semantics can be dreadfully boring and often does more to highlight shortcomings in our language than it does to refine a viewpoint.  What I think we need here is a whole new word that merges “liberal” and “religious” in such a way that neither take the lead – both words modify each other.

Relibious?  Libligious?  Maybe just “Open-Hearted”?

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