Thursday, January 27, 2011

Trivializing the Diaspora

A new social-networking Web site adopts a tasteless and sophomoric name.

I have just learned that some enterprising morons have produced a new social-networking Web site on which they have conferred the name “Diaspora.” Do these boobs or their audience have any idea what the word means and what it refers to? Here is the entry for the word from the Oxford English Dictionary:
diaspora, n.

Pronunciation: /daɪˈæspərə/

Etymology:  < Greek διασπορά dispersion, < διασπείρ-ειν to disperse, < διά through + σπείρειν to sow, scatter

The Dispersion; i.e. (among the Hellenistic Jews) the whole body of Jews living dispersed among the Gentiles after the Captivity (John vii. 35); (among the early Jewish Christians) the body of Jewish Christians outside of Palestine (Jas. i. 1, 1 Pet. i. 1). Hence transf.: see quots.

(Originating in Deut. xxviii. 25 (Septuagint), ἔση διασπορὰ ἐν πάσαις βασιλείαις τῆς γῆς, thou shalt be a diaspora (or dispersion) in all kingdoms of the earth.)
To call your social-networking business “Diaspora” is as grotesque a trivialization of history as coming up with a new brand of lighter fluid and calling it “Holocaust.”