I thought the list of definitions for rogue was interesting, so instead of picking one, take a look at the entire list as shown by

1. a dishonest, knavish person; scoundrel.
2. a playfully mischievous person; scamp: The youngest boys are little rogues.
3. a tramp or vagabond.
4. a rogue elephant or other animal of similar disposition.
5. Biology. a usually inferior organism, esp. a plant, varying markedly from the normal.

Isn’t that interesting? Over the past several months those using the term rogue seem to have rejected these definitions in favor of one they have chosen to create. It looks like this:

ROGUE: a strong, independent person who emerges from the pack
to be seen as one who embraces qualities not to be
polluted by traditional limitations

Now, to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with inventing new words, or adapting them to new meanings necessitated by changing values or usages which have become “the norm” in our culture. But I’m not sure this time the word rogue qualifies for that adaptation. Not yet, anyway. Not without some clear, well-publicized explanation that the word is being used in a different manner. Especially when the “new” definition is so divergent from the standard.

I suppose definition #2 ( a playfully mischievous person; scamp: The youngest boys are little rogues) could be employed as a justification, but only if the intent was, indeed, playful. However, the use of rogue over the past several months hasn’t sounded playful…it has been used in a way that implies a serious, intentional activity which undermines a political party and leads that stumbling party into further disarray.

In my newly-adopted plan (starting today) to be more succinct and use less words I will leave it at that.

Photo Credit: The Cornerstone Group

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  1. Perhaps the answer is variety. I do think you tell a great tale … but I also think readers can grasp an inference without have it all spelled out for them. They may draw/bring their OWN inferences. It just depends on the word (and what you're trying to say). Different days can be, um, different. This one makes a great point while largely speaking for itself ….

  2. Thanks again, Bethany, for hitting it right on the nose. The brevity of this posting is unusually short…for a reason. As I was writing it I realized that I didn't have to spell out whom I was talking about, or what I thought her methods were all about. The implications of the posting speak for themselves. I wanted people reading it to "fill in the blanks." "Short" will be a relative term.

  3. Hi – I think you should be shooting for the "Goldilocks Principle" . . . not too long, and not too short . . . but somewhere in the middle, or "just right". One of your best attributes is presenting several perspectives, but tying them all together and bringing a conversation full circle. By committing to a shortened entry, your readers might miss out on your storytelling skills. Just because other blogs are short in nature, doesn't mean yours has to follow suit. Less isn't always more. We tune in because we want to know what's on your mind.

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