“Traditional”

Here I go punching way above my weight in anthropology.

I don’t think anyone uses the word “traditional” in the right way.  This is because to me “traditional” always just means  “I’m fooling myself into thinking this is traditional”, making the word impossible to use in any intellectually responsible way except self-referentially, to mean “what other people consider traditional, which they can only be right about in a tautological way”.  All words when you come down to it have an element of conspiracy to their definitions, as meanings are inevitably co-constucted among fluent speakers of a language and not objectively set, but in the case of “traditional” things really rise to a Da Vinci Code level of obfuscation and ideologically-driven incuriosity.  The word practically only exists as a vessel for ideology, with no real-world referents.

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