Transcendent Agnosticism

Look, the meaning of words change over time, and no language is ever permanently stable: I'm down wit all dat.

Acknowledging the above does not mean that one cannot judge certain language changes detrimental. So, for instance, the new, apparently required, use of "agnostic" as a substitute for "neutral" or "indifferent" is idiotic: we had those perfectly good words available to describe what people now mean when they say "Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is politics agnostic": they mean it is neutral between political stances. So, we already had a word that precisely says what is meant: why, then, should we pick a word that suggests that MMT advocates aren't sure whether politics exists or not? Writers choose "agnostic" over the more accurate words in such situations only because "agnostic" is now trendy!

Something similar has recently gone on with the use of the word "transcendent": sportswriters these days repeatedly write something like "Smith hitting four three-pointers in a game was a transcendent performance." What about calling Smith's performance "amazing," "excellent," "fantastic," "stupendous," or one of all those other adjectives that meant Smith did something well beyond merely "good"?

No, at some moment, some idiotic sportswriter decided that he could make "Smith's performance was amazing!" sound fancier and more educated if he instead wrote, "Smith's performance was transcendent!" And a whole slew of other idiotic sportswriters tagged along, thinking that they, too, could sound fancier and more educated if they used a fancy-pants word like "transcendent."

I say unto ye, "Go forth ye and condemn all the sportswriters using 'transcendent' to mean 'very, very good' as crowd-following morons."


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