Monday, April 9, 2007

a quick take on moho vs homo

Just wanted to ring in on the MoHo/HoMo debate that's been going on since Tito's post and from there to other places, including -L-'s blog and Mormon Enigma's. While I believe in the sanctity of terms, I also believe in the evolution of terms, and the fact that the creator's original intent might not endure in the definition as a term becomes more widely used or popularized. Tito states:

I want to clarify its genesis and meaning. Because it *was* created for a specific purpose of clarification that seems to have been a bit muddied in the way some people are using it. And this is important—not just any homo can be a moho. Moho is reserved specifically for those individuals who are active, believing, committed members of the Church.
I like the original meaning, because it fills a vocabular gap and makes a clear distinction using a nifty new coined term. However, it's obvious that the word has evolved in usage and now refers more to individuals who identify as homosexual who also have a Mormon cultural background or standing, regardless of their actual position in regards to or affiliation with the Church. And while I'd like to directly respect Tito's definition, it doesn't seem possible or in good taste.

So where do we go from here, if we want to make the distinction? I personally think that MoHo as a more direct and obvious abbreviation of intent and affiliation works fine. Mormon comes first, Homosexual second. Our cultural brotherhood still gets to keep the Moho title, but a clear term that still fills the void can continue to be used. Of course, it takes more than just one person to make a term real, but that's my take on it.

PS Easter was great! I love good holiday-inspired foods. :D

10 comments:

Mormon Enigma said...

MoHo vs Moho seems like too subtle of a distinction. A MoHo could get offended if you forgot to press the shift key and called them a Moho :-)

What about my idea to just invent a word? "Hi, my name is Mormon Enigma, and I'm a glerk" :-)

drex said...

But a MoHo is, by definition, also a Moho. How often would the distinction be needed? I think mostly introductions would be the only time that such a distinction would be useful.

Bob said...

It occurred to me today that if you ever make a bisexual friend, their name on here has to be Li Mo Bi (as per Crouching Tiger if you didn't catch that).

playasinmar said...

I, for one, am glad you've decided to play nice in our sandbox, Bob.

Homosexuals have redefined so many words over the years does anyone worry that straights might take one of our words and remake it just for revenge?

Homosexual = underwater tentacle scientist

Darrin said...

When it comes to modern definitions, I think whoever makes it to Wikipedia first (and most often) wins.

- the lone FOTM

Samantha said...

Just wanted to let you know (since I'm not supposed to do this without first getting permission) I linked this article to the wikipedia article.

Stephen said...

Samantha, if you read the wikipedia talk page for your article, you can see my comments, but basically, I'm about 98% sure: this constitutes a neologism. Now, if one of you were to publish a paper about it, that would be different, but until then, it has yet to appear in any kind of literature outside of the blogosphere, and is only in common usage among a relatively small number of people. Not to mention that fact that the article violates NPOV, and OR rules. I should go comment on the whole NPOV issue while I'm at it... But yeah, it's all moot, because it's a neologism. I'd strongly encourage you to delete it.

drex said...

I definitely don't know anything about how wikipedia works. :P But if there's some way that the article is able to stay, I'm cool with my entry being cited.

I guess we'll have to go publish an essay on the term, or something. Hidden's various papers for English classes just aren't enough.

Stephen said...

It would have to be something that would make it into the OED's file for it to be good enough. A news article, a paper (and by paper I mean the published, peer reviewed kind), a piece of fiction picked up by real (as opposed to vanity) publishing house, or shorter fiction in a respected journal... something like that. And even then, there are still the Neutral Point of View and Original Research issues to consider...

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