I believe words mean something. They have power. Words are what give us connection, empathy, passion and power. They help us understand one another.
In my efforts to start back on a blogging schedule and search the vast corners of the earth for more words that move me, I am going to start a Wednesday Word.
I will post a word, quote, phrase or who knows what else that moves me, inspires me, enrages me or more. I may comment on it. Or perhaps I will not. Feel free to share your thoughts on the topic too.
So here goes, the Wednesday Word is: fake.
The word fake has been around for a long time. According to dictionary.com, it was recorded to have been used since 1775.
Word Origin and History for fake
attested in London criminal slang as adjective (1775), verb (1812), and noun (1851, of persons 1888), but probably older. A likely source is feague“to spruce up by artificial means,” from German fegen “polish, sweep,”also “to clear out, plunder” in colloquial use. “Much of our early thieves’slang is Ger. or Du., and dates from the Thirty Years’ War” [Weekley]. Or it may be from Latin facere “to do.” Related: Faked ; fakes ; faking.”
Yet, the term has become quite popular the past few years, and annoyingly so. There is fake news galore. Ironically, some of those who speak about fake news the most are the ones who seem to spread it.
With the proliferation of social media, “news” has taken a hit. Information can be found in just a few clicks. From video clips to pictures to information, anyone can do a quick Internet search for probably any topic possible and results will pop up. The problem is, not everything on the Internet is true, factual or frankly, realistic.
As someone who studied journalism, this is irritating. I recall getting an F on an assignment in the School of Journalism because I rounded a number incorrectly. The bottom line was that I put an error in fact in my article. So, it earned an F.
The world today though, is clearly not receiving or caring about its grade. People can say anything and claim it is fact when it should more appropriately be labeled as commentary, opinion, fantasy or downright propaganda.
Propaganda doesn’t always have to be fake though according to dictionary.com.
Long ago, it could have just been an organized movement to spread information on doctrines or principles. However, now, at least in my opinion, propaganda is more clearly defined as bad, negative and untrue.
Regardless of your political party, it should be hard to deny that there is a war of propaganda in the world. With a click of a button, fake news can be found everywhere and on every topic, and on both sides folks, it’s on both sides.
Of course, propaganda is not a new thing. Misinformation and deceit have been tools for those with shady goals from the start. It has been used in wars, used by dictators, used by armies and used by countries. It is a dangerous tool to create dissent, confusion and division…and it is working.
The country that I love so dearly is wounded. Our youth are surrounded by misinformation. With the risk of not discerning fact from fiction, our future seems uncertain. Especially when you throw in the multitude of other issues we are already forced to deal with: natural disasters, medical problems, crime, social inequalities….
With all of that going on, I worry that fake news/propaganda will be the straw that broke the camels back. I worry that our youth will be misinformed and led astray. (Heck, I am worried us adults have already been led astray.) I worry that if we do not stop creating division, we will falter.
Unity cannot be grown by division. Love cannot be spread through hate. Growth cannot occur through death. Hope cannot blossom out of despair. And freedom cannot reign under chaos. Even Abraham Lincoln realized that back in the 1800s…
For my Wednesday Word.