Samuel AdamsSamuel Adams, (1722-1803), was known as the "Father of the American Revolution."

Samuel Adams Quote

“How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!”

Samuel AdamsSamuel Adams
~ Samuel Adams

letter to John Pitts, January 21, 1776

Ratings and Comments

Tatiana, Loudoun County, VA, USA

Oh, dear, this is so true. People can stretch the truth in their favor! *sigh* Adolf used it, Stalin did, too, and what's next . . . maybe we're being decepted ourselves at this time . . . . : - (

Michael, Houston

Our Founders did have an incredible understanding...I am always amazed. My ears always perk up when I suddenly hear the language itself being perverted...where taxes, once considered forcible extractions, referred to as contributions, ad infinitum.

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Rebeka    10/12/06

Even though someone may seem like a good leader and a good person, they can be telling you lies just to get your favor.

David L Rosenthal

"It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is." --Bill Clinton

Logan, Memphis, TN

It's amazing how the meanings of words change through time. I laugh every time someone uses wikipedia or a current dictionary to refer to particular word or phrase that once carried significant and specific meaning at the time it was given. We use our current definitions of words to rewrite history, and the things history teaches us. Such is, in itself, the sad pattern of history-- that those who are not willing to learn from their past, are doomed to repeat it. People find more solace in following the same destructive path as their ancestors, so long as they call their journey by another name, than by taking a long-hard look at what they're actually choosing, and the consequences of where their choices are going to lead them.

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

"Clear Skys" & "Clean Water" acts now seem to mean "its ok for our big business friends to make a buck by poluting 'cause I can afford to buy bottled water and live upwind of the sources"... They have stollen our language from us.

Joe, Rochester, MI

"...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." A very simple to understand RIGHT. California banning .50 caliber weapons or assault rifles, and our government's 30,000 gun control laws are infringements. There are so few words in the Constitution because the meaning of the words are plain (simple, common). Only someone trying to distract, complicate and confuse (Bill Clinton) will define the meaning of "is" differently each time it's spoken.

Joe, Rochester, MI

BTW, how many words in the tax code? Anything but plain, intended to confuse, and has different meanings to different agents or persons. Talk about perverted!

E Archer, NYC

The government spin-doctors are always finding new words to neutralize or cover up the truth. 'Patriot Act' , 'Free Trade', and 'Peacemaker' are prime examples -- if a new bill has the words 'freedom', 'security,' or 'peace' in the title, you can bet it's purpose is the exact opposite. It's 1984 all over again. ;-)

Me Again
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Me Again    11/16/06

You don't have to be a tyrant to pervert the plain meaning of words. I know of some people who do it often who are not tyrants.

Ken, Allyn, WA

Unfortunately, perverting words is not strange at all. Oh, I long for the days when being "liberal" meant being a lover of individual freedom.

Jack, Green, OH

Is can have many meanings, David. You probably used them yourself ...sometimes to describe identical, sometimes to express mere existence of an object, or as an auxiliary to a participle, such as; is taken, or is ready, etc. There are a lot of meanings for such a small word. Check out how many yourself. Think, for a change!

Kirk, Uninc. Lake County, IL

So True! Too many politicians value the power-thrill they get by holding such positions. So much they sell out the truth and their own beliefs just to gain favor with some, i.e. to get votes. 99.999% of the time, the spin-doctors pervert words, truth, and due process to railroad through an agenda, selling someone out of their rights.

Marshall Spruill, Duluth, Ga

And that is why one should ALWAYS find a definition of a word from a dictionary from the era in which the word was used. Like our Constitution, don't use that "Meriam Webster 'NEW' world dictionary" use an ORIGINAL Webster dictionary or better yet examine how the word was used in all the instances from that time era. It's why we have so many issues with the Constitution and rights today, people don't know the definitions of the words when they were written. Like a militia no longer means the able bodied men in a country that fight independently of a regular army in its defense, but instead means national guard. If you control the meaning of words, you can control the way people think and how they think. Once you control people's thoughts you are already in power.

Nancy, OH
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Nancy, OH    6/15/09

How very true! Especially from Washington and Hollywood. I was always a liberal; now that the word has been perverted and bastardized, I'm now known as a conservative! What liberal in their right mind would support elective abortion? Think! F.A. Hayek, author of "The Road to Serfdom" written in the 1940s, describes himself and like minded folks as liberals and gives the rational and definition, which is the very antithesis of what America in 2009 refers to as a liberal. The book is deep but essentially easy to understand. I recommend it to any sane American as it was written partially as a warning to our nation.

Rick, Erie
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Rick, Erie    5/2/10

Word-smiths! Truth? What a sham. A shell-game of the most polite lies. Political correctness at it's most cunning. The conniving subtleness of tradgity made to look good, or at least alright. Terrorism-- Man-made disaster. HA!

Annie, Mahtomedi, MN

I love it, timeless and shows how this intelligent, thoughtful and moral man had the *** to say it. Yeh!

tim, troy
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    tim, troy    8/20/14

    The moniker of shame "Truther" is the perfect example. A higher human aspiration of seeking the truth made to sound like a bad thing.

    jim k, Austin

    The word "Progressive" comes to mind.Those who call themselves progressives totally misuse this word. Re-gressives is more like it.

    Mary - MI
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    Mary - MI    7/20/16

    Samuel Adams would be in full out disdain with the course of actions taking place to absolutely pervert the true meaning of words.

    cal, lewisville, tx

    Our constitution is written plain and clear so anyone can read and understand it, but the liberal justices will tell you, "but that's not what it means."

    Mike, Norwalk

    There are several GREAT comments and examples here. I would like to add a couple more time specific examples of meaning perversions.

    LIBERTY is: The power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature. (Bouviers Law Dictionary) Liberty is the exemption from extraneous control. The power of the will, in its moral freedom, to follow the dictates of its unrestricted choice, and to direct the external acts of the individual without restraint, coercion, or control from other persons. Liberty is the right which nature gives to all mankind of disposing of their persons and property after the manner they judge most consistent with their happiness, on condition of their acting within the limits of the law of nature, and so as not to interfere with an equal exercise of the same rights by other men. (Blacks Law Dictionary 1st ed.) Liberty: "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." (Thomas Jefferson) As according to original time definitions, Amerika is no longer a land of liberty or freedom.

    LICENSE is: A right given by some competent authority to do an act, which without such authority would be illegal (Bouviers Law Dictionary 1st Edition) A personal privilege to do some particular act or series of acts ⋯ The permission by competent authority to do an act which, without such permission would be illegal, a trespass, a tort, or otherwise not allowable. (Blacks Law Dictionary, 6th Edition) A license does not address, allow or give liberty, freedom or right. In perpetuity, a criminal act is identified with a competent authority giving privilege to perform such illegality with out threat of prosecution. By way of example, a judge does not revoke liberty, freedom or right for committing a violation against a god/governments cannon, the judge revokes the licensed privilege. Doing business, marriage, driving, working as a contractor are all crimes against the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land. A license is the servants authority given to his master and sovereign to perform identified crimes without threat of prosecution. License, and the original application thereof was defined; As constituted: U.S. Constitution, Article: I Section IX clause VIII (national prohibition), and Article: I Section X clause I ; No State shall ⋯ grant any Title of Nobility ATitle of Nobility was/is: To confer a title of nobility, is to nominate to an order of persons to whom privileges are granted ⋯ It is not necessarily hereditary, and the objection to it arises more from the privileges supposed to be attached, than to the otherwise empty title or order. (Horst v. Moses 48 Ala. 129, 142 (1872) Businessman, Husband, Wife, Driver and Contractor are all titles of nobility, having been conferred the privilege of not being prosecuted for their specific crimes. I could go on and on giving constitutional definitions against government licensing (guaranteed representative republic - In free governments the rulers are the servants and the people their superiors and sovereigns. (Benjamin Franklin), easement, etc., etc., etc.) but the is suffice for the medium.

    Mike, Norwalk

    A P.S. comment to the quote; the tyrant’s perverting word meaning tools include theocratic seminaries (government schools pre - K through doctorate), the seeming 4th branch of progressive government - the media and, the government’s own infrastructure (such as courts that pervert the religious sacrament of marriage: “the civil status of one man and one woman united in law for life ⋯ legally incumbent on those whose association is founded on the distinction of sex.” (Black’s Law Dictionary 1st ed). The perversion in converting meaning of a religious sacrament of thousands of years antiquity to a civil union of entitlements is more than strange, it is a screaming clarion to the tyrants gross maleficence.

    E Archer, NYC

    Great examples, Mike!


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