You get my meaning?

In a recent post the phrase 'hot privilege' was used. I took exception because 'privilege' while it shares concepts with 'advantage' the words differ in that 'privilege' also means an advantage granted by authority and so using 'privilege' when the word 'advantage' is more correct is really an attempt to prejudice the mind of the reader. It is trying, consciously or not, to associate the matter you are talking about with the obviously unfair meaning of "a bill or law giving advantage to an individual or class" when it does not in fact have that character. It is only advantage "to give favor, to promote" and can not be unfair because it is not compelled, it arises from circumstance.
I wonder if anyone else is annoyed by this sort of twisting of language? I see it all the time, spotting it can be a lot of fun, like a word game but not as contrived but when one is used over and over like privilege/advantage it just gets annoying.


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What Girls Said 1

  • I get what you're saying but I feel like you're taking too strict of a definition of privledge. It doesn't HAVE to be given by bill or law, I believe you can have inherent privledge based on certain characteristics that are more preferred in society.

    • No it doesn't and that is the point. There is overlap of definition and by using the word 'privilege' instead of the more precise 'advantage' you associate the part of the meaning which does not apply as well as that which does to the matter under discussion. It's a way of prejudicing the mind. The word 'privilege' entered the language meaning 'private law' and still has this meaning as well as the more general one of 'advantage', private law is obviously unfair, advantage is not. Tall people have an advantage, strong people have an advantage but these things are not unfair, the notion is absurd and make s a mockery of the very idea of justice. By using 'privilege' instead of 'advantage' to describe a situation you plant the idea in the read's mind it is unfair when it is not.

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    • I wouldn't call it a grant because the public does not have a single will to decide anything. It's like saying a flock of birds decided to go left or right. A grant implies a formal decision so unless they take a vote I wouldn't call it a grant. The public grants the President his powers for example but it does not grant bestselling book.

    • That's fair, agree to disagree on these definitions then lol

What Guys Said 1

  • I can honestly say I've never heard the term "hot privilege", that's a new one. The manipulation and co-opting of language that people do nowadays is irritating, but I think what irritates me about as much or maybe more is the brand new, bullshit terms people make up on the spot, particularly if it's to describe their brand new political or social ideology.