Thursday, September 20, 2007

Word Use / Selective Quotation / Other Fun

In this recent post (link), lay Roman Catholic apologist Dave Armtrong spends a significant amount of time and space defending his action in labeling someone using a term that once meant "donkey" but has become mild vulgarity.

Rather than just say that "I meant "donkey," not the other thing," Dave devotes a post to providing literary examples of a non-vulgar use of the term as an insult.

1) Dave quoting Luther and Calvin when he thinks it is useful for him is exactly like Dave quoting Scripture when he thinks it is useful for him. This author respectfully submits that this particular posts illustrates how Dave quotes each of those sources: selectively.

2) Luther and Calvin obviously did not write in English. Thus, the corresponding vulgarity should not be read into their works.

3) Dickens wrote long before the term in question become a popular vulgarity.

4) Shakespeare's use of double entendre (including quite vulgar double-entendre) is well known to those who have actually studied the writings of Shakespeare. Thus, the selection by Dave of Shakespeare is deeply ironic: especially when one considers that comparing oneself to a literary great like Shakespeare is exactly what a pompous fellow would do (although, obviously, it is also what another person might do, if the shoe fit).

5) Bottom line (ha!) - enough time has been wasted pointing out that Dave insults people.



TheoJunkie said...

That would be Professional Catholic Apologist Dave Armstrong.

It is rather comical. We all do so need grace.

Gotta say, 2 Peter 2:16 is one reason the KJV should be cherished.

Anonymous said...

Not familiar with Armstrong. Do the bold letters in the first comment mean that Armstrong is actually in the PCA??

Turretinfan said...

Dear Godith,

No, sadly Dave trusts in Rome to provide truth, hence the "Catholic" part (however oxymoronic the term "Roman Catholic" is).

I think TJ was cleverly pointing out that while Dave does Roman Catholic apologetics for a living ("professional" in the sense that the athletics world uses it), Dave's comments (and this can happen to anyone - we all need grace) do not always have the level of decorum associated with the word "professionalism."

Of course, the most interesting thing is that calling someone a slightly vulgar insult is really not (in itself) a big deal.

For example, a dear brother in the Lord recently used the same term (and really meant "rump" by it) in his email communication to me, without causing any offense.