Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


“Inappropriate” is a word that has been around for about 200 years. It has become a very popular word in the last few years, something like “awesome.” And, like “awesome,” its meaning has become broadened and inflated so much it means less. Its basic meaning is “unsuitable” or “not appropriate.” The correct use would be to describe a situation using a wrong word. If the sky was overclouded with slate gray it would be inappropriate to use the word “fluffy” to describe the clouds.

In modern parlance we use the word to describe behavior. It can be a scathing rebuke. “Your conduct at the party was inappropriate.” The difficulty is that it is a politically correct word to describe everything from children’s table manners to gross sins. It now describes a wide range of cultural sins, many of which are undefined.

Flirting with another man’s wife is inappropriate. Committing adultery is a fact of life and of being in love. The word’s definitions are relative, they float. Inappropriate is based upon what is unacceptable in this generation in this country. It is not based upon the unchangeable, moral law of God. The word is either too strong or too weak and about undefined behavior. Let’s suppose there is an advertisement for a pornographic movie. The normal means of advertisement would be the words “sex, sex, sex.” It would now be advertised, “inappropriate, inappropriate, and inappropriate.”

1 comment:

Larry White said...

It's the last vestige of antithesis. Great post.