Lost In Translation

Bob Carlton once again throws a link up in his google reader that  I think is so awesome, so right on. So go, now–read and watch the 1 minute video–and then come back.

Been thinking a lot about how language is a barrier, a sort of who’s in and who’s out litmus test on belonging to any particular group or community. I cannot tell you how many times a month someone asks me “What does GLBT stand for?” or if I use the word queer, someone looks at me and gasps as if I have said the equivalent of the “N word.”

When it comes to church-y language, I posted a few days ago at my struggle with the word “Beliver.” The struggle doesn’t end here. That’s why I love his post, and the video and its reference to Christianese makes me laugh out loud. I love the list of translations the author of the post uses, and am thinkin’ I’ll add a few that have been across my path lately every once in a while. Today, my beloveds favorite.

Ministry:  Just do the thing. Its not a ministry. Its feeding people. Its making scarves. Its doing shit–because serving is what we do. Ministry? Nothing like throwing a word on the end to make you sound really righteous.

What words are making your list?


3 thoughts on “Lost In Translation

  1. You’re so right, yo. Church isn’t about talking, it’s about doing. If we spent more time doing and less time talking, the world that we preach would actually be the world that is. And sister, you’re preaching by doing. Rock on.

  2. Very good. I just ran across a similar thing on the Kingdom Grace blog: 50 Not-So-Random Things I No Longer Believe In The Same Way That You Might Believe In Them. It begins:

    Apostolic Networks
    Biblical Womanhood
    Building Campaigns
    Christian Bumper stickers
    Christian Music
    Christian Nation
    Christian T-shirts
    Christian Television
    Christian Worldview

    It’s worth reading the whole thing.

  3. Love the video, it made me laugh out loud. I agree that language can be a barrier, especially jargony stuff (I think I just invented a word, the spell check doesn’t recognise jargony.) I also think that we shouldn’t dumb down language too much. If we know just the right word for something, we should use it, and not condescend to others’ understanding either. It’s a balance.

    By the way, in the UK, we use ‘LGBT’ instead. And our main queer campaigning organisation, Stonewall, only uses ‘LGB’ because they work with prejudice around sexual orientation and maintain that the T is not an orientation but a gender. So their terminology is also used. They have quite an interesting article on being Bi, here: http://www.stonewall.org.uk/information_bank/bisexuality/default.asp

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