Transaction, Translation,Transformer, Translucent, Transfix, Transpose,
A lovely way to while away a Sunday morning - looking up words to find their meanings and origins. The more alert of us reading this will spot the similarities immediately in these words - the prefix Trans.
This prefix occurs in the English language, usually in loanwords from Latin (transcend, transfix) with the meanings "across", "beyond", "through", "changing thoroughly", "transverse". It's also used in combination with elements of any origin : trans-Siberian, transvalue, transempirical
In Chemistry, according to Wikipedia, it "denotes a geometric isonomer having a pair of identical atoms on the opposite sides of two atoms linked by a double bond". I shall investigate this further when the need arises to use it in this context.
In Astronomy, the trans prefix denotes something farther from the sun than a given planet : trans-Martian, trans-Neptunian (I didn't know this until today, either)
A further meaning "on the other side of ", referring to the 2 words you have probably noted I have not commented on so far - transsexual, transgender.
I am not however, here debating the ins and outs, ethics, morals or otherwise of those who label themselves transexual or transgender.
What I question is the actual fact today that the prefix "Trans" is now used prolifically in media and social situations as a word in itself.
Below is the first 6 pictures which appeared, in this order, when I typed "Trans" into Google Images. I didn't get the chance to type Translation, Transmigration or even Transgress before the images appeared.
And your point is... ? I can hear you thinking.
Only, that it seems to me, and to many others who dare to voice the view, that we are being "educated" into using specific language to define and label people, where none is really required. It only seems like yesterday when to recite the rhyme Monday's Child, and reaching Sunday was not an announcement of the person born on a Sunday's sexuality.
Perhaps this is constructive progression. It is the changes in the English language that keep it alive, after all. But, and there is a but here - who can honestly say that they think these changes are for the better ? Or need to be force fed to the masses on an hourly basis ? (see BBC )
Or is it, as Peter Hitchens suspects in his blog today :
"... the whole ‘Trans’ issue has been cooked up so that nobody can ever say anything about it (including here) without being somehow in the wrong, and open to attack by the Thought Police. Now that there’s no more mileage in homosexuality, it’s the best way of making conservatives look like bigots.But those of you who have clung to the Tory Party through thick and thin must have wondered a bit last week when it endorsed the idea that anyone can be whatever sex, sorry ‘gender’, that they want to be.
Here’s the simple explanation. The Tory Party itself has changed sex, from Right to Left. It is a ‘Trans’ party. I’m puzzled that it has yet to change its name. How about ‘Doris’? And it now feels free to come out. Yet still you vote for it."
Peter Hitchens blog
I have yet to look into why he chose the name Doris , but shall endeavour to find out.
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