Words and Their Implied Meanings
Would you rather belong to the "Apple Dumpling Gang" or the "Crypts"? The connotation of the word gang reaches "hit an all time low" in the 1990's. We envision today's gang members as drug lords who kill each other on street corners. Society rejects and imprisons them. Once members of a "gang" simply shared common interests and enjoyed social acceptance, much as members of a club today. Many pairs of words have experienced a similar disagreement in connotation throughout the years.
The term "revolutionary" currently enjoys more social acceptance than terrorist. The mind-set of a revolutionary thinks he/she must change a horrific aspect of society by forcing a break-down in government. In the mind of a terrorist he/she must alter an aspect of society he deplores in society by bombings, hijackings, and assassinations. The United States' history makes us sympathetic to revolutionaries because the war between America and the British. No books refer to it as the American Terrorism because terrorism connotes anarchy and a lack of social structure. The actual difference in strategy between the two groups may appear more gentle, however, they both kill.
Regarding the words "gang" and "club" only one denotes violence. The dictionary defines gang as, "A group of persons working together; a group of persons having informal and usual close social relations." The definition of a club reads as follows, "An association of persons for some common object usually jointly supported and meeting periodically." Hidden beneath each definition, lies a more subjective, personal definition lodged in each of our minds. Why must society negatively characterize gangs and positively characterize clubs? We now associate the word "gang" with group of juvenile delinquents who create disturbances with violence and misconduct. Commonly, society associates, the word "club" with a positive environment where young people can have positive...
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