Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm terribly funny

"You're a tortfeaser," Andrew told me last night.

"Um, what?" I asked.

"I'm just practicing my vocabulary. A tortfeaser is someone who commits a tort. A tort is some sort of injustice done to someone, either deliberately or through negligence. So that," he explained, lightly punching my arm, "would be a tort."

"And would this be a retort?" I asked, punching him back.

Sometimes I can be really funny.

"I wonder if tort shares the same root as torture," I said (it does).

That got us on the topic of torture which eventually led us to discuss terrorism, which is something we've been discussing at length recently, trying to determine whether the recent attempted-assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and massacre of onlookers could be classified as terrorism or not.

Terrorism as it stands is a fairly new concept. Its usage skyrocketed after 9/11 but it's still a rather shaky, ambiguous term so it's hard to say if any "isolated incident" should be considered terrorism or not.

"I wonder if terrorism is really a word of mixed origin," I mused, "Perhaps it is most commonly used to describe acts of terror perpetrated by Muslims because it uses the Latin root terror and the Arabic root ism. That gives you terrorism: something done in the name of terror."

Andrew thought that was clever.

Sometimes I can be terribly funny.

1 comment:

  1. Not funny, Nancy! Very clever! I agree. But yes, you are funny.

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