The Rape of Rape

So I'm putzing around Slashdot, replying to comments, and one of them contains the following tidbit:

Finally, using the word rape is way over the top and trivializes a real problem in society -- I'm sure you didn't mean too, but you can get your point across while toning it down a bit too.

Now, this particular bit outlined a piece of stupidity that we often see here in America. It's called Political Correctness, or "PC", and it's always linked to insufficient mental activity.

If we look up the word Rape in the dictionary1, we come up with the following for nouns:

  1. the unlawful compelling of a woman through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse.
  2. any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.
  3. statutory rape.
  4. an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside.
  5. Archaic. the act of seizing and carrying off by force.

We're also informed that the word "rape" comes from a Middle English word which means "to seize or carry off by force". One of the commonest meanings of the word is found above in the fourth sense; the rape of the land, the rape of freedom... Two things, mind you, which are regularly despoiled worldwide. One's ignorance does not change the meaning of the word, just their inference.

So, the next time you feel like railing against someone's use of a word, take the time to do a little research and find out which one of you is right. In this case, the protestor quoted at the top of this message is, quite simply, being an idiot. The fact that they can't figure out that sometimes they want "to" and sometimes "too" indicates either that they are idiots, or that English does not come naturally to them; either way, they should remove the log from their own eye before even mentioning someone else's splinter.

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