Today I heard that cutting beards, employing manacles and music played through headphones are forms of torture. While they may be called culturally insensitive, rude, hard etc. when they are referred to as torture without blushing we have crossed over into new territory. What term do we now use to describe real torture? How much easier for everyone to disregard claims of torture knowing that beard cutting, music and manacles are included in the term. This is the problem with expanding definitions outside their boundaries to give one’s complaints greater shock value in an attempt to win sympathy.
Another; slavery. Working for minimum wage or working without benefits may be rock bottom compensation but it isn’t slavery. What do we say to the millions of women and children bought and sold in the Sudan the past decade or two when we are told that not making enough money to support a family of four as a grocery clerk is slavery?
Today we learned that “nice kid” includes cannibals who eat the faces of their living victims. I’m thinking this one is unlikely to catch on, for want of cannibals, thank God, not, sadly, for want of people willing to (mis)use the term.