Reply to post: Hold on a moment...

Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms

xanda
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Hold on a moment...

"it's no more intelligent to fight against changing the terms."

The 'terms' don't change in or of themselves - it is people who ascribe the meaning. For example, the word "gay" didn't assume it's current cultural meaning all by itself - the meaning has been artificially imposed over years.

That raises the question of who gets to define the meaning and who gets to impose it.

The issue thus becomes one more important than that of transient semantics or mere practicality. It is one of both freedom of speech and the imposition of authority aka dictatorship.

Like so many other words in the English vocabulary, the word slave has more than one meaning; indeed it's original root has been applied to various different scenarios over time. This does mean that the meaning is largely contextual and so ascribing too much value to an alternate one denigrates the beauty and power of language.

Again this is a problem, both in principle and practice.

In principle it means that certain quarters will seek to establish themselves as the word/thought police, as indeed they are already doing.

In practice it means that the 'innocent will anguish over the innocuous' as well as a ton or more of unnecessary work in changing code, reprinting signs and other tangible material - all at great cost.

It can therefore not simply be ignored or adhered to as if to go with the flow.

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