The Ambiguity Dictionary
The Spectator
founded 2004 by ron cruger
A place for intelligent writers
A place for intelligent readers
 by Jon Burras
Your comments about this column are welcome ~ e-mail Jon at
2021 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
     Perhaps you might have heard of a classic reference book called Webster's Dictionary. This elaborate text was first published in 1828 and has been the standard-bearer in the definition of words ever since that time. Modern day competitors are Dictionary.com and the Urban Dictionary (where slang or street expressions are identified).
     By having a dictionary that describes language a society is better able to get along because everyone can universally agree on the meaning of things. This has been the case for the last two-hundred years in America. It has worked so far...until now. There are many who have thrown away conventional wisdom only to reject the classic definitions and instead make up their own definitions.
      The good old days when the "Yellow Pages" showed up on your doorstep every year to confirm names, numbers and addresses is over. There is no new dictionary that is handed out each year to affirm the new definitions of things. Many folks expect the rest of us to just accept their new definitions. This ultra anti-tradition crowd then shames you when you did not understand the new definitions that they created.
     You might not be aware of the newly imagined "woke" dictionary. This tells you how to be a victim, reject common sense and support law breakers (because it must be the law that is wrong, according to these folks.) But things have gone even crazier as the new dictionary being outlined is called the "ambiguity" dictionary. In the ambiguity dictionary, the authors' strategy is to confuse the audience. Confusion is another way to control and dominate a society.
     For instance, in the conventional wisdom, the element gold is the same in every continent and country on the planet. It carries the same atomic weight on the periodic table, has the same molecular components and is virtually the same wherever you go. There is no confusion. Gold is still gold wherever you might go.
     However, the inventors of this new ambiguity dictionary have re-imagined a word like "infrastructure". Most common sense people know what infrastructure is. Infrastructure involves concrete, steel, cables and wiring. You might find this in bridges, roads and airport terminals. The ambitious ambiguity crowd now calls infrastructure anything that they want it to be. Free breakfast for kindergarteners is infrastructure. Haircuts for the homeless is now included in infrastructure. Swimming lessons for the elderly is infrastructure. "Pooper scoopers" for the poor to pick up their dog waste is now labeled as infrastructure. If you are not confused by now then you must be superhuman, because I sure am confused.
     When you can destroy the meaning of something and then give it your own narrative you can have power. The audience often does not know if they are the crazy ones or if they are witnessing a decline of human civilization. Unfortunately, many people do not have the common sense or insight to challenge these mindless ambiguous definitions and end up going along with them. Confusion is their normal state and they just give in to it.
     We have seen how government institutions have taken on the ambiguity campaign as well. For instance, the Department of Homeland Security used to stand for keeping Americans safe and keeping out those who are trying to enter the country illegally. Now the Department of Homeland Security operates more like the "Wal-Mart Greeter". The Wal-Mart Greeter, usually a friendly retired person, would welcome customers to the store and ask if they needed any assistance finding anything in the store.
     The Department of Homeland Security has opened the country's borders to anyone who wishes to enter and directs them to whatever tax-payer services that they might want (welfare, health care, education, housing assistance, transportation or legal aid). There is very little "homeland" or "security" found at the Homeland Security Department. The head of Homeland Security might as well be called the "chief humane officer" who acts like Santa Claus giving away gifts from American tax-payers. Ambiguity shines its ugly head once more.
     We also see how these ambiguity definitions filter throughout society. What once was a "lie" is no longer so. Government officials tell us that they do not lie. Instead, they just tell us what we need to know. "Transparency", once thought of as an open system, now means that little information will be released, stories will be manipulated and truth will be avoided. We can see this in the current President of the United States. President Biden is prohibited by his staff from answering spontaneous questions from reporters and is given a list of reporters to call on that will only enable him and not challenge him. His enablers state that this is the most transparent administration ever.
We now have a society that does not necessarily believe in "law and order". The ambiguity dictionary has changed a "law" into just a "suggestion". District attorneys do not have to punish or incarcerate people who break any laws because laws are not absolute. We have seen that during the 2019/2020 riots and chaos that there were many people arrested for such criminal acts as looting, attacking a police officer and curfew violations. Many of these law breakers were not charged with crimes because district attorneys did not consider a "law" to be a "law". Looting is now no longer considered as "stealing". It is now a form of "reparations" and "income redistribution". Throwing rocks and bottles at police officers is now justified as a segment of the population "venting" their natural emotions. What used to be called "assault" is now called "venting".
     Ambiguity is not new. The latest ambiguity dictionary did not just appear overnight. There have been many versions and this is just the latest one. For instance, when a hunter goes out into the forest and hunts and kills a deer he says that he "took down" a deer. It is hard to admit that a killing actually took place. When groups of hunters go out and kill many animals in a herd it is called "culling" or "thinning" of a herd. It would be too much to admit that mass extinction just took place.
     The ambiguity dictionary shows up in areas like medicine as well. For instance, a cancer patient is often treated with such toxic products like chemotherapy and radiation. These are poisons. Medical doctors call them "medicine". When someone is on their death bed in a hospital the staff is encouraged to pump the morphine and speed up death. This is called "comfort care". We would not really want to admit that we are trying to kill off our loved ones.
     Recently we are shamed into believing that we need to "trust the science". What science are they referring to? Science is a method of story-telling using data and numbers to come to a conclusion. It is based on a notion called "bias confirmation". If you wish to believe that coffee is good for you then you will find a number of scientific studies that demonstrate that. If you wish to believe that coffee is bad for you then you can also find a number of scientific studies that demonstrate that. "Trust the science" really means disregard anything anyone else says and only believe me. I guess the idea of an open mind and quality discussion is gone. Ambiguity takes its hold once more.
     When we hear terms like "safe and effective" we normally assume that something is on the up-and-up. Would you fly in an airplane that only had a 90% chance of making it to its destination? Would you have sex using a condom that had a one in ten chance of failure? Why would you believe that a vaccine could protect you when it is rated at only being 90% effective (or many times even much less)?
     When it comes to "safety" we are still dealing with ambiguity. As of 2019 there were 67 million Toshiba airbags recalled and replaced in cars after 19 people were killed by faulty exploding airbags. The risk was very low that death would happen to you. But the federal government made it a priority to recall all these airbags because they were labeled as "unsafe".
     There have been at least 6,000 people who have died within five days after receiving a Covid-19 vaccination. Some people believe that number is as high as 45,000 individuals. Millions more have been sickened with symptoms after their vaccines and many have been hospitalized even after they have been vaccinated. When it comes to cars we have a high bar at what is safe. When it comes to our own bodies, it seems that the bar is lowered quite a bit and "safe" means anything the government wants it to mean.
     According to these new government "risk/reward" standards, swimming in shark infested waters with blood dripping from your leg might be considered a "safe" option. Government officials might proclaim that it is a better option than drowning. Welcome to ambiguity.
     When a woman is pregnant and decides to have an abortion she is considered to believe in her right to her own body and she is labeled as "Pro Choice". We could never admit that she is in favor of murdering her unborn child because that would be too honest. As long as we can keep things ambiguous we can at least sleep at night. Doctors who provide abortions do not commit "murder" on a daily basis. It is referred to as "female reproductive health care".
     We can see the ambiguity dictionary roar up in the immigration debate. It used to be very clear and simple. Someone in the country illegally was called an "illegal alien" or "illegal immigrant". (An alien is a foreigner, hence an illegal foreigner.) But now the media and members of the government have reclassified people coming across the border illegally as "migrants". There is nothing illegal about them.
     This is like attending a car show where two men are proud to show off their classic cars. One has spent years and thousands of dollars fixing up his car. The other stole his car from someone's garage the night before. In some people's minds, the only difference between the two is the paperwork. One has the legal rights to the car and the other does not. When is comes to illegal immigration, the ambiguity dictionary wants us to believe that the only difference between a citizen and an illegal immigrant is the paperwork. One has the correct paperwork and the other does not.
     Most people used to know what "democracy" looked like. Now the meaning of democracy is that one group is allowed to speak their opinion but nobody else is allowed to have any other opinion. You are shamed and called horrible names if you disagree. "Bipartisan" has come to mean that one party controls the narrative. If the other party disagrees then they are called an "obstructionist".
     If we cannot agree with the definition of what things mean then we are doomed on this planet. Global warming will look like child's play when you begin to witness all of the societal games of power and control. If you ever wondered why such great societies like the Mayan culture just disappeared overnight, you might want to look closer within the social politics. It might not have been lack of water, lack of food or disease that killed off this great culture. It might have been because they just could not get along. Are we not headed in that very same direction?
     On closer observation, this ambiguity dictionary might not be a bad thing after all. When it comes to infrastructure, we will soon have the best dressed homeless people, fewer senior citizens will be drowning and there will be less dog poop on the sidewalk as the poor are now able to clean up after their dogs. Maybe America is well on its way to becoming "Great Again" after all.