Unless you live under a rock, you heard that President Obama recently had three dictionary’s (Google, Merriam-Webster and Cambridge) add the following entry to the definition of literally: “Used to acknowledge that something is not literally true but is used for emphasis or to express strong feeling.”
In typical fashion, that isn’t the only, or most impactful, word/definition that the president had modified. While everyone was abuzz over the fact that a definition clearly in opposition to the word’s actual definition was added, nobody noticed the other word the president had changed: different. (Of all the words for this to happen to, that he chose ‘literally’ to accomplish his ultimate goal is genius as it is so fundamental to a dictionary that it necessarily would draw attention.)
If you go to dictionary.com and look up different you’ll find, “not alike in character or quality” as the number one definition. However, the same three dictionaries the president has in his pocket have caved to the pressure yet again. Instead of just adding a definition to the number two spot, though, they actually erased all the previous definitions and instead put, “being the same.”
Now, we could discuss how, yet again, the president’s actions–always hiding bigger changes behind smaller changes–are disreputable, but let’s not. We could discuss how, yet again, the president’s actions–endlessly overstepping the limited nature of his power–are illegal, but let’s not. We could discuss how, yet again, the president’s actions–his surprisingly unsurprising changing definitions of words–are narcissistic and disrespectful to all mankind, but let’s not. Instead, we will focus on how his most recent action, changing the definition of different, clearly illustrates how he has a fundamental misunderstanding of his main campaign promise: change.
President Barack Obama promised to change this country, presumably for the better. We turn again to dictionary.com and find that change is defined as, “to become different.” Do you understand what has happened? The nature of all the president’s flaws are revealed perfectly in this one seemingly minor action. He wants to have it all. He wants to “have his cake and eat it too”. He wants to “have it both ways.” However, as long as there is one other human–functional backbone included–in existence, he’s going to have a problem reconciling his ‘wants’ with reality.
His changing the definition of different doesn’t even make sense if he doesn’t have these ‘wants.’ How can a man who promises change fulfill his promise if everything is the same?
Some of us might be inclined to let this minor change be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Let’s turn to a dissenting opinion: His entertainment value alone has been worth it.
For those of us who first learned how inept presidents were with Clinton, we were even more disappointed in Bush II. And out of these three presidents that have done nothing but drop the ball, has President Obama not been easily the most enjoyable to watch. Will you join me in admitting that rather than getting upset, you actually hope President Obama never leaves office? Long Live King Obama!