It doesn’t really mean that

My subconscious self (and sometimes the conscious one) frequently recalls words of the Spanish character Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride.  Many of Inigo’s words are memorable, if not quotable.  For me, this line tends to come up in the greatest variety of contexts:

You keep using zat word; I do not sink it means what you sink it means.

Inigo was talking about the word “inconceivable”—which invariably was referring to something that was not only conceivable, but had in fact occurred in the story.

In the church context, I think of words and phrases that don’t mean what they seem to mean, taken at face value:  expressions such as “songs of praise,” “separate and apart,” and “Jesus is Lord.”  As these expressions are often used, they carry meanings different from what’s on the surface—and sometimes little real meaning at all.

Now, as quickly as we made that gliding approach to church gatherings, I want to taxi over toward some secular things.  Words in “scare quotes” often don’t mean what they purport to mean.

NO no. 1

“… and by ‘NOT,’ we really mean, ‘mostly, depending on the particular food and drink, the occasion, who’s in charge of this event, and whether you as an individual look like you can handle it.'”

NO no. 2“… and by ‘no,’ we really mean, ‘several, or at least one or two, if you’re careful and don’t run over any smart cars, and if you actually patronize our store.'”

Three past posts on similar topics

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One thought on “It doesn’t really mean that

  1. Hannah B 01/28/2016 / 1:43 pm

    Like the sign I saw out in the country side near Hunt, NY that advertises “deer” processing? You keep on using zose quotation marks… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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