Is the word starlet insulting? No one has said anything, but this morning, I looked back on yesterday’s entry and I wondered. And that has me thinking about language again (you knew I would get back there somehow). I totally understand the attempt to remove the caste and class system by manipulating the language. And, there are times that I agree with the motives of those behind such a change. But, more often I feel the spectre of George Orwell deadening the room. I grant you that making jobs gender neutral is a far cry from words like 1984’s “ungood” but I often think that the act of making those sorts of changes seems usual to people only paves the way toward newspeak.
No pictures today, just words. Some words that I morn the loss of. One being Lady. What is the difference between Lady and Woman? My mind is quick to equate Lady with Knight. Not quite with “Her Ladyship” nor with “lady-like”, but with a woman of strong character and virtue. How sad I was when Sarah got me to stop using the word, saying that it was classist.
What is my role, as a father of a daughter with words like this? How do I speak words that do not diminish? How do I relate the value behind the word without the word itself? Can I nurture a Woman Warrior? Can I keep the questioner alive? Can I help, in my small way, my daughter to live unencumbered by baggage far older than us both?
What words of honor are there that I can hold on to? Where is that still point?