You can learn a lot about a culture by looking at how it’s language developed. Take Latin as an example. It’s got something like 38 different words for “kill” (that’s a rough unscientific estimate…from my head). Kill in war. Kill in battle. Kill in a duel. Kill a stranger. Kill your brother. Kill your mother. Kill a baby. Kill a schmaby. That’s because they did a lot of killing.
We’ve got our own issues with that. Do you know how many different words we have for things like “mad”? Angry, frustrated, resentful, livid, exercised, agitated, irritated, wrathful, heated, ticked, peeved, P.O’d…. Or sad: depressed, downtrodden, distraught, distressed, grieved…. Emotion is clearly one of our big concerns.
But in the last couple of generations we’ve begun to accumulate – or at least convert – a lot of derogatory terms for “strong-willed”. Rigid, dogmatic, doctrinary…. I can’t remember where I was reading today, but there was a comment on the post that used a phrase that is becoming utterly ridiculous: “ideologically driven”.