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”?
Posted by Eddie Proulx