Archive | 4:00 PM

Woke

10 Jan

Urban Dictionary defines “woke” as being aware, and “knowing what’s going on in the community.” It also mentions its specific ties to racism and social injustice.

I don’t like the term, “woke” and not because I’m conservative or republican or racist or something.  It’s a hot word, a cultural catch-all right now, sure.  But it’s what the grammar itself implies that I don’t like about it.

Q: What part of speech is the word “woke“? … A: ‘woke‘ is a verb, an intransitive verb, and a past tense of the infinitive ‘to wake‘.

The word “woke” meaning progressive or understanding of problems is in the past tense.  This bothers me because we are never finished learning.  It’s not an end point you reach then you’re done.  So saying ‘you’re woke’ or ‘someone is woke’ is saying you/they know everything there is to know, they are the most sensitive and progressive that it is possibly to get.  Impossible!  We should all strive to learn and grow and understand always.  There’s no end point.  No finish line.

The other problem with hyping a word as the cultural catch phrase is that it puts that word/mentality in the trend category.  It becomes the ‘far-out’ the ‘groovy’ the ‘radical’ of the past.  Those words become passe’, dated, out of mode.  You lose their meaning, and instead they symbolize a time-frame.  And racial understanding, for example, should NEVER be just a passing trend.

Language means everything.  It’s what makes humans the most intelligent creatures.  Our ability to use language to communicate is the WHOLE thing.  So we need to be careful how we use it.  Especially for important social justice causes.