Definition definition.

How long will high definition be called high definition? I can imagine Eliza reaching her teens and asking why the only television she has ever seen is called “high definition.” Will there be “super high definition” by then?

I remember growing up in pre-cable days when we would adjust the fine tuning dial or mess with the rabbit ears on top of the television just to get a better “standard definition” image.  Was there a standard definitive image quality?

Did anyone call it standard definition before there was high definition?

When will the current standard (high) be called standard? Am I just playing with words?

You may think so, but words matter; especially words we use to refer to things.  Words we use to refer to ourselves and others matter even more.

Of the nine letters Pauline letters to churches in the New Testament, three open with Paul addressing the recipients as “saints.” in two others, he uses the phrase “called to be saints.”

In none of the letters does Paul address the body as “sinners.” Words matter.

There are plenty of other, non-biblical examples of the same principle at work.  Have you noticed the difference in someone’s demeanor when you can call them by name?

What does the way you refer to things and people around you say about your expectations and understanding of them?



3 thoughts on “Definition definition.

  1. You know that in Narrative Therapy there is the mantra that “Words Create Worlds”.

    Also, if you have not listened to RadioLabs the podcast you ought check out the podcast entitled “Words”. There is a segment in there about how words create and change the reality around us. In fact I use this podcast to teach people about the parables of Jesus.

    Check it out.

    P.S. I will be watching the Super Bowl on just a ‘low-def’ tube television.

  2. Lots of food for thought here (as usual) and I don’t know which way to go (also per the usual). 🙂

    On words:
    Many treat with the scorn the term “politically correct” but the intention is merely to be thoughtful about what we say and the impact our words have on others. For instance the term “bum” is a character definition, but the term “homeless” is a current circumstance of living.

    On hi-def:
    My boyfriend and I were just talking about the olden days when people would play the hi-fi during their martini soirees.

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