Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dear World,

Some words cannot be used non-literally for trademark kinds of reasons. Champagne, Roquefort, and Gorgonzola come to mind.

Some words cannot be used metaphorically because it is impossible--can you have a metaphoric metaphor? If you use a metaphor metaphorically, it would become, by definition, literal, right?

Some words are used non-literally and metaphorically but should not--ever--be so used. Like rape. No one wants a trademark on rape. But when the word rape is used metaphorically, it literally exacerbates the burden of sexual assault on survivors, previvors, and everyone else.

Unless you mean you that sexual assault was a mysterious correlative consequence of your large electric bill, do not say you were raped by the power company.

Unless you mean that humans sexually assault animals when we treat them inhumanely, do not say that the meat industry rapes animals.

Rape is never cute. Never funny. Never a clever verbal hyperbolic tool. Never. Not ever.

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