[enter subject] nazi’s.

I was just tooling around online and saw this article. Full disclosure, I haven’t read it yet. I don’t know whether or not I agree with the author’s stance. I’m actually wondering about this increasing use of the term “nazi.”

Nazi used to refer to a member of a genocidal political party that believed their way of life and belief was superior to all else.

Increasingly, “nazi” is used as a descriptor for someone who is annoyingly strident in their views: A breastfeeding nazi, a feminazi, a grammar nazi.

On the one hand, I always feel vaguely disturbed and disgusted by this trend — yes, yes, let’s compare a fervent defense and affection for linguistics to a political party that advocated racial superiority and the murder of millions to ensure it. That’s not at all hyberbolic.

On the other hand, I wonder if by using the term “nazi” like this, we’re normalizing it and taking away it’s power and horror. If we are, is this a good thing? Does it make the Nazi party from something that could possibly, by some, be admired for their drive into a linguistic quirk indicating ridicule? In just 70 years, we’ve made the Nazi from a figure of nightmare terrors and reliable villains into a campy cliche villain trope and an appellation of irritation — “Stop being such a spelling nazi, jeez.”

It’s interesting to ponder. I don’t know what it means, or if it means anything. I don’t know what kind of world we would shift into if we continued to hold the term “Nazi” in horrific, hushed regard. I mean, you wouldn’t think that making a negative term essentially untouchable would be bad, but it does end up imbuing a certain sacred terror to the term, a sacred terror which is far more damaging in the long run than simple ridicule.


2 thoughts on “[enter subject] nazi’s.

  1. Yeah, I know. "Faggot" and "nice" have undergone interesting changes, too. It's just the way language works. I suppose I find it so interesting in this case, because the transition is happening so quickly. It's probably the internet, which is changing our discourse and language in ways we've only begun to suspect, but it's still interesting.

  2. Your post reminds of another use of a word that is the opposite to your description of negative for nazi.The word "gay". It's original meaning is nothing compared to what it is used for today.Over time words find new uses and meanings. Mostly, I think because of slang. People simply don't understand the implications of word use.I understand and agree with you. A lot of times when I read or hear something I have to think about the use and context of what's being said. If it's a here and now sort of thing I simply keep quite as to not embarrass myself. If I have time and am reading something I'll go online and research it to make sure I'm understanding its use.I think people just make up stuff and other adopt it. I don't really care for it myself. It almost resembles speaking in gibberish when people do that. As if gibberish is another language like English, French, etc.

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