Scrap the S-word: A term which has lost all meaning, by having too many meanings, needs to be scrapped

Two lexicographers – a fancy word for those who compile dictionaries and whom we can call lexis – discussing the New India Dictionary, 2020 edition.

1st lexi: This darn dictionary is getting too big for words, literally. These are just too many entries, what with new words being invented all the time.

2nd lexi: I know what you mean. It’s getting so big and heavy that instead of a library its proper place should be a gym where people can use it for weight training. We need to make it less big and heavy by cutting out words which have become outdated and obsolete.

1st lexi: Good idea. How about we start by scrapping the S-word? If there’s any one word which has become totally outdated and obsolete so as to have lost all meaning, it’s the S-word.

2nd lexi: Too true. And the funny thing about the S-word is that it’s lost all its meaning by people giving it too many meanings, whenever and wherever it suited them. So in the end, all those different meanings cancelled each other out and left the S-word totally meaningless.

 1st lexi: You’re right.  The S-word kept cropping up in all sorts of places and all sorts of situations, to justify or unjustify, all sorts of things, from Ayodhya to the Shah Bano case, till no one know what the S-word stood for anymore.

2nd lexi: And the final straw is the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) which says that outsiders of minority communities can live here provided they don’t belong to a minority community beginning with the letter `M’.

1st lexi: Be that as it may, the S-word is still part and parcel of the Constitution.

2nd lexi: Big deal. The Constitution’s like dictionaries – it needs constant editing.

1st lexi: I see your point. So it’s agreed that we drop the S-word?

2nd lexi: Right on. Let’s hit the Delete Forever button on the word ‘Secular ’….

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

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