Thursday, May 3, 2012

When A Word Goes Awry

Do you discipline your children? Why, or why not? 

It is important that we teach our children to practice discipline, and that we practice discipline with our children.  

Undisciplined children become undisciplined adults.

There are a great many parenting articles, books, and speakers teaching us to manage the growing up years of these amazing blessings, our children.  Most of them are currently in agreement that discipline of children is cruel and misleading.  

Is it possible that the very word discipline no longer means what it used to?

Take a look. 

The first set of definitions is from Webster's Dictionary 1828.  The second set is from the Mirriam-Webster Dictionary online.

DISCIPLINE, n. [L., to learn.]

1. Education; instruction; cultivation and improvement, comprehending instruction in arts, sciences, correct sentiments, morals and manners, and due subordination to authority.
2. Instruction and government, comprehending the communication of knowledge and the regulation of practice; as military discipline, which includes instruction in manual exercise, evolutions and subordination.
3. Rule of government; method of regulating principles and practice; as the discipline prescribed for the church.
4. Subjection to laws, rules, order, precepts or regulations; as, the troops are under excellent discipline; the passions should be kept under strict discipline.
5. Correction; chastisement; punishment intended to correct crimes or errors; as the discipline of the strap.
6. In ecclesiastical affairs, the execution of the laws by which the church is governed, and infliction of the penalties enjoined against offenders, who profess the religion of Jesus Christ.
7. Chastisement or bodily punishment inflicted on a delinquent in the Romish Church; or that chastisement or external mortification which a religious person inflicts on himself.DISCIPLINE, v.t.
1. To instruct or educate; to inform the mind; to prepare by instructing in correct principles and habits; as, to discipline youth for a profession, or for future usefulness.
2. To instruct and govern; to teach rules and practice, and accustom to order and subordination; as, to discipline troops or an army.
3. To correct; to chastise; to punish.
4. To execute the laws of the church on offenders, with a view to bring them to repentance and reformation of life.
5. To advance and prepare by instruction.

 Definition of DISCIPLINE
obsolete : instruction
: a field of study
: training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character
a : control gained by enforcing obedience or order b : orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior c : self-control
: a rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity

Did anyone else notice that Mr. Webster chose the definition pertaining to punishment as number 5, while the new Mirriam-Webster authors and editors chose to use punishment as a single word defintion in the number 1 spot?

In fact, the definition in the new dictionary has been whittled down to as few words as possible, few of them having any positive meaning at all.

Which definition are your children learning at home, at school, at church?

1 comment:

"Get Refreshed Today!" said...

You really got this Blogger thing down! whoo, hoo! you go girl.
Uncle David