“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
-The Princess Bride
We are now reaping a bitter generational harvest in America, sown into the ground because we have permitted:
One of the most rotten fruits of this bitter harvest is the loss of the language itself. Whole words that meant one thing for generations now have completely different meanings, and nothing unhinges a culture faster than the loss of shared language/terminology.
So to recover the language, and thus our lost legacy, I went back to the master linguist himself—Noah Webster.
Fluent in 27 languages, Webster was one of the most influential thinkers among the first-born generation of newly-minted Americans. Best known today as “the father of American education” and for the dictionary which bears his name, Webster is as responsible as any single person in our history for preserving the American view of law and government passed down to us from the Founding Fathers.
Yet as we have collectively drifted from our most cherished traditions, Webster’s influence has waned as well. As a result, even though our letters and spelling are the same as they were in Webster’s day, the definitions are decidedly different.
Don’t believe me?
Let’s consult Webster’s legendary 1828 edition of American Dictionary of the English Language. Take a look at terms vital to the preservation of American Exceptionalism, and see how Webster himself defined them compared to how they’re defined now.
Webster 1828 definition: “That which justly belongs to one…Just claim by sovereignty; prerogative. God, as the author of all things, has a right to govern and dispose of them at his pleasure…Just claim; legal title; ownership; the legal power of exclusive possession and enjoyment…Conformity to the will of God, or to his law…Conformity to human laws, or to other human standard of truth, propriety or justice. When laws are definite, right and wrong are easily ascertained and understood.”
Steve Deace's nationally-syndicated radio show airs coast-to-coast each weeknight from 9-Midnight eastern, including many of the Salem Radio Network's top conservative talk stations in markets like New York City, Houston, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Minneapolis. His radio program has been featured in major media such as Fox News, CBS News, ABC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Politico, The Weekly Standard, and National Review among others. In 2013 he wrote the second-most shared column of the year for USA Today, defending "Duck Dynasty" and traditional American values. In addition to being a contributor for Town Hall.com, Deace is also a columnist for The Washington Times. He is also the author of the new book Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again, which includes a foreword by David Limbaugh and is endorsed by a who's who of conservative leaders. You can follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.