The Hammer Comes Down:
What’s in a name?
Possible name changes to appease the intolerant
By Linda Hammerschmid
We are in an era of never ending intolerance by some over others. Removing a 17th century painting from the Cambridge dining hall because now some students claim they were unable to eat; criticism of Prime Minister Trudeau for wearing black face; trying to change the name of the Washington Redskins, are but three instances of minorities foisting change on the majority.
So I have to wonder when some group will take up the clarion call to change the following names:
1. Black Friday
After all, shouldn’t that moniker offend black people? Perhaps the name could be switched to White Friday – after all in many places there is already snow on the ground by the last Thursday in November.
Perhaps the name [Black Friday] could be switched to White Friday – after all in many places there is already snow on the ground by the last Thursday in November.
2. Manhole cover
I am convinced that this reference to men will one day come under scrutiny. So should it be renamed to personhole cover?
3. Merry Christmas
This is a sore point for many on either side of the argument. Many insist on the secularization of Christmas by replacing Merry Christmas with Happy Holidays so as not to offend non-Christians. While Christians want to keep the name. Often, due to pressure, stores and politicians water down any references (but somehow, it doesn’t stop sales).
So, do we change the name of Christmas by deleting the “Christ” portion? Should we just have cards saying “Merrymas to All” which is already a hash-tag on Instagram and Twitter? So sad that those people feel the need to shorten the name.
‘Many insist on the secularization of Christmas by replacing Merry Christmas with Happy Holidays so as not to offend non-Christians.’
How about we leave Christmas as Christmas and only those who use it can have days off from their jobs? And as for politicians who can’t bring themselves to utter the word Christ, I say “work on December 25th” (at least until some group forces calendar makers to delete the day entirely, or maybe they can copy leap year and only have it once every four years!
I find it hypocritical that the US Government insists that Government institutions bar nativity scenes, crèches and even “Christmas” trees while keeping on the Almighty (pun intended) greenback the slogan “In God We Trust”.
Any takers for changing the name to DOG?!
With the 8+ billion people on the planet it is a given that any name or symbol will offend some group of people. As the old saying goes:
‘You can please some of the people all of the time but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.’
But opposing names and statues, because some faction is displeased, has gotten out of control. And more insidious by these demands is the fact that by erasing all the past, one day there will be no memory of it. I call it revisionism and it’s terrifying.
The more that is erased the less there is to remember, and remembering our pasts is too important for our futures to be so cavalierly expunged from the collective memory.
Another old saying by George Santayana is on point:
‘Those who do not read history… and who fail to learn from it are doomed to repeat the mistakes of their predecessors’
But how can you learn from anything if history is systematically erased? The answer is a resounding – you can’t!
Merry Christmas to whomever wishes the sentiment – Happy Holidays to the rest.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of its author and do not reflect the opinions of WestmountMag.ca, its publishers or editors.
Read also: other articles by Linda Hammerschmid
Me Linda Hammerschmid is an attorney and has been practicing Family Law since 1982. She is the Senior Partner at Hammerschmid & Associates at 1 Westmount Square, Suite 1290. She is a founding and current member, and past Secretary (28 years) of The Family Law Association of Quebec. She is a frequent guest on CBC TV/Radio, CTV and CJAD, providing commentary on Family Law. You can also hear her regularly on the CJAD show ‘Passion’ with Dr. Laurie Betito, the last Thursday of each month. She and her dog Mac are members of Therapeutic Paws giving joy to the less fortunate. Me Hammerschmid can be reached at (514) 846-1013 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. All inquiries will be treated confidentially.