Reappropriation of Judgemental Terms
Outside a paradigm of categorical good and bad, there are many commonly used words that have no meaning1. Some thought systems shun these judgemental words, but instead I reuse them with new, kinder meanings2 for humorous effect:
|evil||ingenious/cunning||Don’t worry, I have an evil plan|
|good||something I like||Fringe (TV series) is SO GOOD|
|better||preferred||Steven Universe is better than Adventure Time|
|best||favourite||Person of Interest is one of the best TV shows ever made|
|should||want to for my purposes||I should wash up = for my purposes, I want to wash up|
|must||intend to for my purposes||I must finish writing this article|
|right||helpful||That idea is right|
|wrong||unhelpful||That idea is wrong|
|pervert (noun)||someone who is free (at least internally) of the restrictions imposed by normative sexuality||Most of my friends are perverts|
|pervert (verb)||to liberate a person or object from the restrictions of normative sexuality||I’m gently perverting my new partner|
|the devil’s work||not designed in a way that meets my current need||Notepads are the devil’s work|
|difficult||a seemingly external obstacle I haven’t forgiven||Reading the Text of A Course In Miracles is difficult = I haven’t forgiven the Text of A Course In Miracles|
|hate||haven’t forgiven4||I haven’t forgiven you|
|sin||joyous activity5||forgive me father for I have engaged in joyous activity|
|guilty sinner||wholely innocent child of God||I’ll race you, last one there’s a guilty sinner|
|victim||new friend/acquaintance||I’ll definitely try this on my next victim|
|I love you6||I can see your innocence|
|blame||am grateful to||I blame you for introducing me to Planetes|
Having been in this habit of repurposing words for over a decade, I often forget that I’ve done this, and so people think I’m judging when I’m not.
ACIM context: Using these words with kinder meanings, is my way of forgiving the words. If you can’t hear these words without reacting, then you haven’t forgiven.
I’m very proud of this post, and I may refer to it often. Now I can write in a way that’s more natural to me: outrageously claiming that things are the best.
It may take a while for me to identify all the words I’ve changed the meaning of in this way. I’ll probably never find them all. But I can just keep adding to this page when I notice them.
The table doesn’t really work on mobile.
Answer: I have largely forgiven my mum, so no I don’t hate her. I haven’t forgiven my dad yet, so I hate him.
Answer: Joyous activities aren’t sinful. There is no sin.
Activities that Catholics would call “sinful” are often joyous, so why not call joyous activities “sinful”.
The meaning that you have for “sin” doesn’t exist in my mental framework except as an unhelpful and untrue idea.
at least, none that I would ever use ↩
In A Course In Miracles Jesus does something similar: he takes all the hateful words from Christianity and redefines them to suit his purposes. ↩
I’m not being totally consistent with whether I use the word or the meaning in this column, but hopefully you can follow ↩
Question: Would you then say that you hate your mum and dad, i.e. you haven’t forgiven them? Or perhaps you have? ↩
Question: Why are joyous activities sinful? ↩
the usual usage is “your ego is special to my ego” ↩