I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means...

I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means...

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News articles abridge confusing concepts through syntax, vocabulary, and, often, intellectual query. Some articles are efficacious: discussing topical events, evaluating perspectives both audacious and prudent. Some articles promote sedition and confusion, often concomitant with the former group of articles.

For the lazy sybarite and those novice in the art of lexicography, this article offers no respite. So, I beseech you, deny your scurrilousness and join me in embracing our collective, dusty, neglected dictionaries and consider this word:

Inconceivable—not capable of being imagined or grasped mentally; unbelievable.




In the enchanting movie, "A Princess Bride" our lovable but incompetent Sicilian crime boss Vizzini says the word “Inconceivable!” after his every attempt to outsmart Wesley fails. Time and time again during the movie we hear “Inconceivable!!” knowing all too well Vizzini is improperly using the word “inconceivable.” Vizzini is finally corrected when one of his posse, the Spanish master swordsman Inigo Montoya, says, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Have you ever stopped to think, “What was Vizzini doing wrong?” or maybe “Well, he was just being hyperbolic!” Well I have, and I present to you three options and you, dear reader, may decide just how mistaken Vizzini is.

Option one: Catachresis—A misuse of a word; an application of a term to something which it does not properly denote.
Vizzini, while planning the heist to kidnap Buttercup for ransom, accidentally established “inconceivable” to be a synonym with “improbable.” This happens all the time with the word “literally.” From doctors and drama queens to politicians like Chris Traeger, the word literally has almost developed another definition: figuratively.

.

Vizzini wants to express disappointment and shock that his plan failed. He doesn’t mean to use the textbook definition of inconceivable, rather he has a case of catachresis. Bam. Option one.

Option two: Lethologica—The inability to remember the correct word.
Moments that take your breath away may also give you a severe case of lethologica. Also, extreme stress. Or maybe, it's just a word you don't use that often. Picture this: You’re at Super Bowl 45 and Christina Aguilera is singing the national anthem. Pretty easy gig for a singer like her, right?


But you noticed something weird about it: she forgot to say the word "rampart's." Slipped her mind. She probably hadn’t ever used the word rampart outside of singing that song. Thus, lethologica. Vizzini is probably not accustomed to failing at his job. With Fezzik the Giant and Inigo the swordsman at his side, the team of bandits were underperforming. And Vizzini, blindsided by their failures, forgets the word improbable. But he has to say something! Thus, inconceivable. Option two.

Option three: Sophomania—A delusion of superior intelligence.
Vizzini has surrounded himself with a less-than-intelligent muscleman and a Spaniard whose English is considered sub-par. This option presents Vizzini as a mastermind who is not really a master of his mind. Sure, he managed a few tricks and understands dialectics as if he were Hegel himself. However, delusions being delusions, Vizzini thinks he can simply say whatever he wants and assume it is correct because his surroundings propagate that behavior. Are the blunders truly inconceivable? Of course not. But does that word help him to assert his influence over his two subordinates? Hell yes. Option three.

Though this is really a trivial matter and there is no true answer why our Sicilian friend has a bad case of malapropism, I hope you’ve learned a little bit about some words. And maybe even about yourself? Wait… news articles that make you think? Inconceivable!

Note: My money is on option one.

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As A Muslim American, My Trip To Jerusalem Revealed That Open-Mindedness Bridges Communities

A life changing trip that opened my eyes up to the optimal dynamics in a community.

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On Dec. 21, my parents and I flew to Amman, a city in the beautiful country of Jordan, where we took a cab to the main part of Jerusalem. We were told by multiple family friends that it is not the safest to directly fly into Jerusalem because of the religious issues and riots going on. As we entered Jerusalem, I put my hijab on. A hijab is a head covering worn to cover a women's beauty in Islam. As I put my hijab on to pay respect to Mosque Aqsa, I noticed a change in perspective from everyone around me because suddenly, there were eyes from everywhere on me — Muslim and Jewish.

After we paid respect to Mosque Aqsa, we went to the hotel to sleep because we were exhausted from our 14 hour flight. The next morning, we woke up bright and early to begin our day by praying at Mosque Aqsa. I wore traditional American clothes, jeans and a top, because it was often worn in Jerusalem, though I kept a hijab on for prayer.

After praying, I was astonished by the gathering of all the Muslim people in the mosque area. This made me want to see the Wailing Wall and the place of the first church to view how others gather for their god. I knew the Wailing Wall was sacred because it was a prayer and pilgrimage place for Jewish people, while for Christians, Jesus was born inside the first church.

As we exited the mosque community, we found a kind man at the kiosk who gave us pomegranate and mangoes. My dad decided to ask this gentleman directions to the Wailing Wall. The man began screaming at me and my dad. He told us we are not allowed to even want to view the wall of the Jewish people. I responded and explained that we just want another perspective on other religions. The man yelled even louder. He told us that the Jewish people would convert us and that we should not leave the Mosque surroundings. With this, he furiously sat back down and did not give us any directions to the wall that was right behind this mosque. My dad and I were quite confused on what had just happened and the way our question for simple directions were handled.

We decided to walk along the sidewalk until we found someone to help us out. It was a 61-year-old man who seemed to be a Jewish person with his religious hat. He happily helped us out and gave us exact directions for the Wailing Wall, though he did say he was excited new people wanted to convert to his religion.

We followed his directions and successfully reached the Wailing Wall. There were gates at the Wailing Wall that had security checks that allowed people to enter as there were at the mosque. Although, the experience entering the wall and mosque was not the same. As a muslim woman wearing a hijab, I was able to walk through the mosque without anyone questioning me, I was easily able to walk in without questions asked.

At the wall, a security guard first made my family go through metal detectors, checked our passports and asked an immense amount of questions about why we wanted to go see the Wailing Wall if we were Muslim. Finally, after various obstacles and issues, we made it into the Wailing Wall.

As I experienced such obstacles, I thought about how different the community in Jerusalem was from the United States. It doesn't matter what group, each religion in Jerusalem was highly conservative. This is quite different from the United States.

The culture in the United States is significantly diverse, which allows the people here to be open minded. As an everyday routine, Americans interact with people of various religions and cultures that they don't question or change their perspective toward a certain race. Yes, there are always racist citizens who are not comfortable with other religions, but a majority of the United States depicts unity because of how culturally different every person is.

This is not how Jerusalem is seen. Religions are significantly segregated with one another through security check, restaurants, hotels and even streets. Every religion has their streets in Jerusalem and going to the one you are not a part of can result in awkward stares along with rude treatment.

As I had previously booked a hotel before arriving to Jerusalem, we were not aware that the street we booked was on the street of the Jewish people. This wasn't a major issue, but glares and different treatment were conveyed. As my parents and I would eat breakfast in the lounge, we would often get glares for the hijab or clothing we were wearing because it was different from everyone else around us. This was quite disturbing because every day we would go inside the hotel or leave and get glares that clearly depicted that we weren't wanted in this hotel. The hotel workers were indefinitely kind and caring at all times, though the people living there were not.

The experience I had was definitely an eye-opening lesson. It depicted the perspective of others in America versus Jerusalem. The people in Jerusalem are not open-minded, which detaches the various religious groups in the nation. It prevents various religions to connect or be able to create united communities to be able to act as one.

As for the United States, there are different religions and cultures blended together with majority of the people who are open-minded. This allows the union of communities, while also allowing people to connect without the similarity of religion. I'm glad that I was able to have a once in a lifetime experience with my family. Although the segregation in the country was a little uncomfortable, I am glad that I was able to understand how lucky I am to live in an open, happy and united country and that I am also able to learn about the significance of open-mindedness in uniting people and communities.

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