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 adoptaword.com 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 thefreedictionary.com:
"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.

Links
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/witch
http://www.adoptaword.com/index.php


2 comments:

Vivienne, Doyenne 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 :)