Words Often Don’t Mean What They Literally Mean

Words don’t mean what they literally mean. They mean whatever the people who use them think they mean. However they are used, that is what they mean, in other words. Pot smokers got “paranoid.” It was generally just “panic,” not actual paranoia. Antisemites are those who hate Jews, not those who hate all Semitic-speaking people. Homophobes are those who hate, dislike homosexuals, not just those who are afraid of them, though a lot of homophobes are also frightened of gay men.

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