The Meaning of Things

Little did I know that the Oxford Dictionaries Online keeps up with abbreviations and online slang.  When I recently did an internet search to find out what “tl;dr” meant (too long; didn’t read…in the event you are wondering), I assumed I would be directed to urban dictionary where sometimes the meanings seem totally made up.

I found out that ODO adds and removes words and abbreviations as society usage of them increases and declines.   In an ever-changing and evolving world, that totally makes sense.

Of course, that makes sense so all of us can be in the same page when conversing. Thank goodness there are still dictionaries that keep the historical meaning of words since so many have radically changed through the years.

Think of changes in the use of the words hot or sick for example. Or even bugs and viruses!  Authors and poets whose work survives a hundred years or more would be surprised to find that the words they chose no longer represent the meaning they desired.

Words aren’t the only expression of our time to get new meaning.  In recent years, art such as statues, paintings, music, and books have all met opposition in a different era than which they were created.

Even the various versions of the Bible may have different interpretations.  Modern day English words meant to describe a long-forgotten word may not be an accurate representation.

The older I get, the less I want to judge.  With age has come the knowledge that I could be the one that is wrong in my interpretation of a matter.

It is good for us to remember the saying, “walk a mile in his shoes,” which is a thought adapted from an 1895 poem titled “Judge Softly,” that was later referred to as “Walk a Mile in His Moccasins.”

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