Common Understandings

Before people can hold a meaningful conversation with another, they must establish certain ground rules.  These ground rules are intended to provide a reasonable level of assurance that they will understand each other correctly.  At a very minimum, these ground rules must contain symbols that represent things, concepts and ideas, as well as a common understanding of what each symbol represents.  There must also be a known and accepted set of rules governing how these symbols are used when there is a need to convey more complex thoughts or ideas.  There are many such systems of symbols and rules. There must also be a set of defined rules for how we use these symbols to convey more complicated meanings.  There are many such systems of symbols and rules.   Among them are basic logic and mathematics.  In the case of written and/or spoken words, we most commonly call this system “language.”

Now, this may all seem very obvious and maybe even boring, but it isn’t.  Our society has become multi-lingual, and even when people sound like they are using the same language, often times the words hold entirely different meanings.  This is commonly known as slang.  What’s more, there is a deliberate, concerted and ongoing effort to destroy our society’s shared understanding of language.  In many respects, a society is its language.  Language heavily influences the way we think, which then influences the way we act and react.  So, when we all share a common language, we all share at least one common thread that then serves to bind us together and create a sense of unity across our society.  However, if we confuse the common understanding with slang, or worse, we allow additional languages into the public square, then we sow division and discord within our society.  This is why, if someone wanted to undermine a society, one of the most effective means of doing so would be to subvert that society’s language – and that is exactly what has been going on in our nation for decades.

Therefore, if we are to defend our culture, it’s crucial that we defend our language, as well.  In a nation as large and diverse as ours, a common language is one of the few things that can bind us all together.  I write in the English language because it’s integral to our nation’s heritage and connects us to our founders. I adhere to the formal rules of English grammar, which can be found on sites such as this one.  And, unless I state otherwise, I will use the definitions found in the on-line edition of the Merriam-Webster’s English Dictionary (which, incidentally, traces its origins to Daniel Webster: founding father of this nation as well as American education).  Finally, in the interest of establishing our common understanding, when I make or critique and argument, historical document or news story, I will be using the rules of basic logic.

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