“Semantics”

As a former communication major, it drives me crazy when people say, “oh it’s just semantics”. Meaning, “you’re saying the same thing with different words”. I understand the sentiment, and have been guilty of the phrase myself (HYPOCRITE), but really, I think meaning what you say is incredibly important. This is why this blog post horrified me recently (it stole a word from my vocabulary b/c i don’t think most people know the correct definition and will therefore misunderstand me).

About 4 years ago I purposed to strike “you guys” from my vocabulary. Oddly this is when i moved AWAY from Georgia. I decided “ya’ll” really is just the best alternative as it’s gender-neutral & less awkward than “you all” or my grandparents favorite, “you people”. Every now & then the closeted feminist just takes over….

Anyhow, the purpose to this rant (which you need to know could go on for days if I let it) is to inform you that I am going to try to eliminate “find the time” from my vocab. This is a silly notion. I have not lost any time. In fact the time I am taking to type this up right now, was not found anywhere. It was taken from dinner preparation time (sorry ryan), but was not lost & then found. It seems to lead to the assumption that in order to do things I need/want/should do surplus hours must magically appear in my day. This will not happen. Perhaps “make” the time would be better…but this too makes it sound as if new time is being added to an already full day. I think “sacrifice some time” would be the most logical but that sounds a bit…overly dramatic. So, I have not found a good substitute phrase. Suggestions are welcome.

5 thoughts on ““Semantics”

  1. What about a simple, “Yes, I will.” or “No, I won’t.” Anything in between just brings about the unnecessary stress of (whether warranted or not) and uncertainty. I know…I know…it’s really not that simple…but it’s a start. :o)

  2. Oops…I meant to say…”Anything in between just brings about unnecessary stress (whether warranted or not) and uncertainty. Strike the spastic “the” and “of”. Sorry…

  3. Horrified you? Oh dear. I am terribly sorry about that, and I do feel bad about reducing your vocabulary–quite an unkind thing to do to someone. Vocabularies are precious commodities, no doubt. And I agree it is frustrating that this situation seems to make the word peruse obsolete since so many people have this other notion in mind. I wonder when that started? My brother Joel, a fellow guardian of semantics, claims he was never mistaken of the word’s meaning, but I would be curious to take a poll of how many people are mistaken.

    As to “finding time”… My first thought was to schedule time for something–sounds less romantic than finding time but it is more accurate, no? Perhaps you could “set aside some time” or “plan time” instead of finding it. I kind of like “set aside,” personally. But I have to admit I’m not feeling that committed to forsaking “finding time.” I could write/ponder more about why this is, but this is a very long comment already. So I will stop. Goodbye.

  4. ok, dinner was 30 min. late, but it happened. & i’m leaning toward either “letting my ‘yes be yes’ & ‘no be no’ (melissa’s suggestion) or “set aside”.