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 Dictionary.com:
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