Sunday, June 21, 2009

Stop the Generic Nazi

Enough already with the "Nazi" label. (yes, its time for a rant). The misapplication of the word Nazi in today's society is disturbingly common. Dictionary.com even lists the following entry as one of its definitions of a Nazi:

"a person who is fanatically dedicated to or seeks to control a specified activity, practice, etc.: a jazz nazi who disdains other forms of music; tobacco nazis trying to ban smoking."

Jazz nazi? Tobacco nazi? These distorted applications of the word are hardly appropriate given Nazism's unique historical significance, but they are very much a part of our vernacular, nonetheless. Painting with such a broad brush represents the ultimate perversion of our past, not to mention that the misuse of Nazi in conversation is an obvious mark of the ignoramus and the parrot. (Although I suppose that in his youth Hitler would have been considered an art nazi).

The Third Reich was not a cartoon and Nazi Germany has its exclusive place in history. To set the record straight: A strict teacher who disciplines students is not a Nazi, the Israelis are not fascists, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, although nefarious, is not Adolf Hitler.

So, the next time you witness friends or family members showcasing their obtuseness with the generic nazi, please do us all a favor and politely tell them to either open a history book or keep their mouths shut.