One of the advantages of a proper education in Western Civilization that included ancient languages is the ability to coin new technical and scientific words without having to resort to Newspeak. Take the word hoplophobia for example. Jeff Cooper created the term by combining the Greek words όπλο (weapon) and φοβία (fearfulness) to describe the irrational fear of weapons. It succinctly describes an attitude held by many who favor suppression of Second Amendment rights. BTW, it is more on point than the misuse of the -phobia suffix in the words homophobia and Islamophobia which seems to mean the hatred of homosexual and muslims rather than the fear of them. A proper Greek-derived suffix for hatred would be -echtra.
I see a need for a couple of new phobia-suffix words to describe attitudes that are becoming prevalent in our public discourse. They are epistimiphobia and altitheiaphobia.
The first is based on επιστήμη which means science, so it means an irrational fear of science. I believe it will be useful in describing the sort of person who clings to a particular hypothesis long after it has been falsified repeatably because of an emotional investment a false belief.
The second is based on αλήθεια which meant truth or reality. It means an irrational fear of the truth. I believe it will be useful in describing the sort of person who is even further along in his denial than an epistimiphobe.
The guy who is still wearing two masks in the park may be an epistimiphobe, but if believes that he is a woman, he’s probably an alitheiaphobe.
And Sarah Hoyt has a post over at According to Hoyt about how collectivist/progressives/liberals have created a style sheet that bends public discourse in their favor.
Look, half of the way you think is bounded in by words. And half of the way other people think too. By using the leftist chosen terms, you’re lending them your unwitting support.
Don’t lose the war of words. Come up with more accurate terms, and think about what you’re saying.
Don’t let the Left frame the terms of the debate. Make them deal with the Real World on its terms. Or if it’s to your advantage, force them to stick with a contradictory position. (Hey, AP, why are you complaining about your Gaza office? Destruction of property isn’t violence again, is it?)
Ted Lieu is the Congresscritter who recently said that he wanted to regulate the contents of speech and who seemed to be disappointed that the First Amendment prevented it. However, he wants the privilege of using words however he wishes, regardless of their meaning.
Humpty Dumpty and the editors of the Newspeak Dictionary were unavailable for comment.
UPDATE—Another politician once explained the meaning of words with this example:
How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg? Four. Saying that a tail is a leg doesn’t make it a leg.
Deranged may refer to psychosis, a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a “loss of contact with reality.”
Cyberstalking is the repeated use of electronic communications to harass or frighten someone.
Now, consider someone who has lost a court case, moved to have the resulting order modified, and appealed his case with his appeal being denied. Now, suppose that person was told on two separate occasions by the trial judge in court that his understanding of the law was wrong, once during the trial and again during the modification hearing. Also, suppose that his appeal was denied because, after reviewing his legal reasoning, the Court of Appeals found no issues of law to review. If that person continued to assert that his view of the law was correct, it might be reasonable to assume that he had, in some sense, lost contact with reality.
Let’s go a step further with this fellow and note that he had been adjudicated as a harasser by a court of law and that he used the Internet to conduct his harassment. Clearly, it would be reasonable to consider this person a cyberstalker. Indeed, many people would, using the common understanding of the words, find that describing him as a deranged cyberstalker was quite justifiable if not completely accurate. Certainly, holding and expressing that opinion would be not be defamatory—given that it is based on well-known facts about the person and his behavior.