Why Words?

By @TkThtEtymology

Hi Kids. I’m Take That Etymology, and I’d like to talk to you about the exciting field of linguistics and how it’s abused by creationists, new agers, and other people that like to make shit up. With all the science denial that goes around the Take That scene, where do words come in? I had two major claims as inspiration for starting Take That Etymology. First off is The Uni-Verse Thing – as I like to think of it, my Monkey Question. Stay tuned for more on this from myself and @SuckItEvolution, but the basic claim is: “Uni” means “one” or “single” “Verse” means [spoken|written]|[word|sentence|phrase] ∴This proves that the universe was created by God saying “Let There Be Light.” This is both the most common repeated word-related claim that I see and the ultimate expression of etymology abuse in that it is the perfect storm of:

  • Completely untrue
  • Assuming a mystical meaning of word origins to reality
  • Completely ignorant of languages with differing etymologies

My second favorite claim is that “religion” means “binding back”, which is applied in a variety of different ways for various arguments. It’s not quite as much of a perfect storm, as it’s possibly true (the word’s ultimate etymology is uncertain) but somewhat misconstrued even if this is the correct etymology. It gets combined with the amusing meme that “ isn’t a religion; it’s just THE TRUTH” often enough to make it my second favorite. But this is just the beginning of the wide world of linguistic abuse. People find hidden meanings everywhere, from overt claims of numerology and shadowy organizations creating words to control our minds with lies to sideways arguments by play-on-words. The possibilities are endless.

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