Like humans, the meanings of words also evolve.
Take, for example, the word “gay.” Up until the early 1960s, the word primarily meant “lighthearted and carefree.” In the 1930s, you had Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers starring in “The Gay Divorcée.” In 1962 you could find Sam Cooke singing about a New York place where “people are so gay, twistin’ the night away.”
Today the word is almost universally known to mean homosexual … especially men.
One could make a case for words changing their meaning ever since the first word was uttered.
The word “fact” has recently undergone a major shift. Thanks to years of conservative news outlets like Fox News, and more recently the Trump campaign, the word that once meant “something that has really occurred or is actually true” now means, “something you believe has really occurred or is actually true.”
The late New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once famously said, “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”
How quaint. How so totally vintage!
Scottie Neil Hughes, the conservative CNN commentator and ardent Trump supporter, recently told radio host Diane Rehm, “There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts.”
And observation bears that out.
Donald Trump claims to have won the national popular vote. Fifty-two percent of Republicans say it’s a fact, according to one poll. Forty percent of Trump voters believe that to be true in another poll.
The reality is that the final vote count showed Hillary Clinton won almost three million more votes than Trump!
This is a fact in the old meaning of the word. It is knowable, provable and empirically true. But nearly half of Trump voters don’t buy it. Why? They believe Donald Trump over the crooked media which just makes up the numbers.
Hughes, in the same radio interview, went on to say, “And so one thing that has been interesting this entire campaign season to watch, is that people that say facts are facts – they’re not really facts … Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth, or not the truth.”
Sorry, Sen. Moynihan, in our brave new Trumpian world, everyone is entitled to his or her own facts.
Come on now …is one to believe the corrupt media or the words of our new “Dear Leader?”
Photo | ourstorian.wordpress.com