To Discriminate or Not to Discriminate, that is the Question

Why is it that some people like to play around with words?  As I noted yesterday, Debra JM Smith wants her right to discriminate against gays and lesbians or any other imaginary group Mark can think up that she will believe.  However, some think that I was talking about ‘to discriminate’ as in making a decision about something by comparing two things.  I discriminated between all of the available men out there and chose the very best of the bunch (sorry guys, this is the Objective Truth!):  Doug.  In my discriminating I looked over a number of options.  I could and have discriminated between other options in my life:  I decided that I would not drink a cup of poison and would instead drink water.  That seems pretty reasonable.

However, what I won’t and don’t do is to discriminate against someone.  You see, some people don’t understand that some words have more than one definition.  Or some pretend to their gullible readers that there are some words only have one definition when in fact they can have more than one.  ‘To discriminate’ is one of those.  The standard definitions for this verb are (from Dictionary.com):

1. to make a distinction in favor of or against a person or thing on the basis of the group, class, or category to which the person or thing belongs rather than according to actual merit; show partiality: The new law discriminates against foreigners. He discriminates in favor of his relatives.

2. to note or observe a difference; distinguish accurately: to discriminate between things.

Imagine that!  A word with two definitions! 

So everyone discriminates in their life on a day to day basis(definition #2), but only some discriminate (definition #1).  When someone writes a post and ignores the fact that there are actually two definitions of a word and they only write about one, they are either ignorant of the English language or they are lying to prove a point (and boy does God hate liars).  Of course, when you lie to prove point, your whole case goes down the toilet. 

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