Thursday 10 December 2009

The power of words

These days, it seems, you can adopt pretty much anything for charity to give people as gifts or just for your own amusement - from animals at the local zoo to words in the dictionary.

The website is encouraging people to adopt a word on behalf of Ican, a charity which works with children who have problems speaking.

I thought this sounded like a good idea, so I thought I'd have a look if "witch" was still available. It was at the time I checked, but I quickly decided against adopting the word when I saw the definition the site was offering:
"WITCH: a person, usually female, who practises or professes to practise magic or sorcery, esp black magic, or is believed to have dealings with the devil."
I prefer some of the definitions given on
"witch (wch)n.
1. A woman claiming or popularly believed to possess magical powers and practice sorcery.
2. A believer or follower of Wicca; a Wiccan.
3. A hag.
4. A woman considered to be spiteful or overbearing.
5. Informal A woman or girl considered bewitching.
6. One particularly skilled or competent at one's craft.
I then had a look to see if "Wicca" was available to adopt, but I wasn't greatly enthused about the definition given for that either: "the cult or practice of witchcraft". Am I being oversensitive to think the word "cult" has slightly unpleasant connotations?

Some people adopting words are plainly quite happy to have a wicked side. The word "evil" has been adopted by a Mr Mike Grace. He gave his reason for adoption as: "Someone had to. How can you have a good without an evil?"

That is, indeed, an interesting philosophical question.

Despite my misgivings over Ican's archaic idea of what witches and Wiccans do or are, Ican does seem a worthwhile charity to support and the gift of a word for Yule would certainly be an unusual present.



Miss E said...

They must have gotten their definition of 'witch' from a really old dictionary. Maybe you should suggest that they 'adopt' a new one! ;)

Badwitch said...

A good idea :)