Remember The Origins

Etymology fascinates me sometimes. I’ve been mulling over a poem, for example, about dead metaphors that are actually pretty creepy if you think about them hard. If you’ve ever trained a dog on a short leash, you’ll know what level of control it means to say a person is kept on one.

But the political season also gives us etymologies that are also revealing. Like Lee Atwater’s explanation of the origins of keywords like state’s rights, small government, and so on:

The entire social and political platform of the right in America today is basically a re-branding of overtly racist policies. It’s got a different label, but the contents are still the same.

Don’t forget where your words come from.

One thought on “Remember The Origins”

  1. One time years ago I blandly typed, without thinking, that a local politician attempting to prevent a budget cut for a popular program was “blocking the courthouse door”. Luckily I paused to think the metaphor through before deleting it.


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