Noxious doesn’t really
By Sue Forde
I learned a new word meaning today.
always had thought the word meant “poisonous.”
I was at the Burnt Hill show-and-tell yesterday (the
Open House regarding recreation on Burnt Hill, put on by the Washington
State Department of Natural Resources, Olympic Region), and happened upon
a “noxious weeds” map.
The meaning of "noxious" is “non-native” said Cathy Lucero,
coordinator of the Clallam County Noxious Weed Control Board assured me,
when I asked her to define the word.
Had I looked at the show-and-tell board, I would have
seen that “Washington’s noxious weeds are invasive exotic
introductions” – in other words, as Ms. Lucero had stated, non-native.
Curious as I am, I looked the word up in the
dictionary when I got home. Here
are the definitions I found:
Hmmm – I guess Ms. Lucero and her “noxious
weed” people need to study the dictionary before placing brand-new
definitions on words. Will
the next step be “critical noxious?” (In all fairness to Ms. Lucero,
she seems to be very knowledgeable about various types of weeds.)
The Noxious Weed Board is a 5-member board appointed
by the county commissioners. If
they find that a landowner has “noxious” weeds on his property and the
landowner refuses to “control” the noxious weeds, they can have the
control work done and bill the landowner or issue civil infractions.
As in so many other instances, the words are being
changed so as to create the illusion of crisis.
When crisis happens, people don’t usually think – they just
react. When crisis is thought
to happen (even if there really isn’t a crisis!), people still have a
tendency to react – and the reaction most often ends up with more
erosion of constitutional rights, and more government control.
Principle of control: Fear is a wonderful and awesome thing. When a crisis comes, people react in a variety of ways: fear is one of the foremost. The result is that actions now become “feelings-based” rather than “fact-based.” This is the tool of those who would control us. We need to stop, step back, and remember that “words mean things” – and look with a wary eye at some of the words that are being used by bureaucrats these days.