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posted: 3/31/2013 5:00 AM

Changing minds and words a bad mix

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Columnist Donna Brazile is concerned with the developing changes in the Clinton family from 1992 to present ("The Clinton family's evolution on gay marriage," March 26). The manner in which Ms. Brazile words her piece prompted me to check several definitions of the word "evolve." I was surprised to see so many loosely scripted definitions of the word "evolve." I had rarely encountered the term outside of biology classes and other scientific communities before the past 20 months or so, when it began to appear in columns of linguistic acrobats and other so-called "leaders."

Look up "evolve" definitions for yourself at dictionary.com and biology-online.org. With plenty of other impotent definitions dispensable, I'm sure some will quibble at my analysis of Ms. Brazile's chosen words, but here's my description of "evolve": When a creature, creature-series, or groups of unrelated creatures undergoes physiological, biological, genetic or research-verified transformation in form or function, "evolved" through generational transpiration. There is no way that any human or creature has ever witnessed its own or another evolution. I can safely suggest that it would be mostly impossible to witness an actual evolution of any species (save for lab testing bacterial strains) unless doctors directly engineer people to live more than 900 years.

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The way Ms. Brazile words some things is really a nice, acceptable way of saying "changed his/her mind" (think waffled). People who've changed their minds and change words are not to be sought for guidance. If you do consult them, you're showing you don't really believe in anything in the first place; you're just catapulting your success illegitimately by seizing opportunity. This type of "evolving" is dangerous to follow. I'm afraid those people wouldn't know "evolving" if the evolving invisible-winged rock flew into their heads. Let the scientists do the heavy word lifting.

Ross Hirz

Palatine

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