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What’s in a name?

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“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose would smell as sweet” – William Shakespeare

That was William Shakespeare writing over 400 years ago, and if he had e-mail and had known that people across the atlantic would be sending him mail, He would have definitely refrained from letting his imagination get the better off him.

Why all this “quoting dead poets” business you ask? Well, It all started with a random mail I got the other day about how I am utterly incapable of understanding “liberalism” and that I shouldn’t be so presumptous to go about calling myself a liberal. See, I can take criticism as well as the next person, but this is something that I was totally confused over. A little help from wikipedia quickly got me to the root of the problem.

It turns out what the rest of the world calls socialists and lefty lunatics are called as “liberals” in america and what the rest of the worlds calls as liberalism is actually “Libertarianism”. It turns out that the shakespearean rose can stink like a pigsty.

I can understand different spellings and in some cases I think there was a point to loose the u in colour or write metre as meter. But why do people across the atlantic have this need to keep inventing new words for old concepts? An Identity crisis perhaps?

So, for the convenience of readers across the atlantic, I am a libertarian on many acounts and for the rest of the english speaking world, I am a liberal.

Signing Off,
Vishnu Vyas.


Written by vishnuvyas

August 1, 2006 at 4:11 pm

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