This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Thing Not To Be Today: a chauvinist.

Do people sometimes have different opinions from yours?

So, why is this? Do explain it to me. 

Is it because the other people are stupid? Or because they are ignorant? Or evil?

Or could it be because you are yourself wrong?

Well, as this last is a vanishingly small possibility, let's assume that you are completely and utterly correct in all your opinions (in which case I should perhaps spell that you with a capital Y). How then do we account for the perverse beliefs of others?

Well, let's suppose we ask everyone in the world to tell us why they hold their opinion of, say, chocolate. We could then file these answers into correct, stupid, ignorant, and evil piles. Then we'd have to hope the proportions of the piles tell us something useful.

The first thing, obviously, is to decide which opinion is correct.

Hmm... know, this isn't going to be easy, is it? Unless, of course, you're sure that only your own opinion matters.

My Collins dictionary defines chauvinism as a smug irrational belief in the superiority of one's own race, party, sex etc

That sounds spot-on to me...

...but then what do I know?

Thing Not To Be Today: a chauvinist. The first chauvinist was Nicolas Chauvin of the Napoleonic wars, who was noted for his enthusiastic, unthinking, and loud patriotism. 

There are, sadly, two small problems: first, Chauvin didn't become famous until after Napoleon's downfall; and, second, no one's sure if he ever actually existed.

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