What Constitutes an Assassination

5 Feb

Guyz, it’s political Tuesday!! I wrote this 19,000 years ago and found it on my email. It made me laugh, because why the heck is this interesting to me? But it IS, because words are so arbitrary!

Most people know what an assassination means… generally. But have you ever wondered what exactly constitutes an assassination? Where does that fine line between murder and assassination lie?

 So I looked it up in the dictionary, and here’s what I came up with;

 –verb (used with object), -nat⋅ed, -nat⋅ing.1.to kill suddenly or secretively, esp. a politically prominent person; murder premeditatedly and treacherously.
2.to destroy or harm treacherously and viciously: to assassinate a person’s character.

We will focus first on definition 1. It obviously states that assassination  applies mostly to those of political power or influence. In other words, presidents, senators, and even judges (candidates too). So of course I asked “What about the president of the multi- million dollar corporation who influences these candidates?” So I find the distinction to be this; if the person was killed for a political reason then it’s assassination- not murder. If you’re not sure why they were killed? Well then you’re just gonna have to guess.

So now on to the second definition. Who knew you could assassinate a person’s character? What exactly does that have to do with politics? A lot, actually. Let’s look up the definition of politics (good thing you all have your dictionaries handy!). You don’t have to read it all, but just scan through the following;

–noun (used with a singular or plural verb)1.the science or art of political government.
2.the practice or profession of conducting political affairs.
3.political affairs: The advocated reforms have become embroiled in politics.
4.political methods or maneuvers: We could not approve of his politics in winning passage of the bill.
5.political principles or opinions: We avoided discussion of religion and politics. His politics are his own affair.
6.use of intrigue or strategy in obtaining any position of power or control, as in business, university, etc.
7.(initial capital letter, italics) a treatise (4th century b.c.) by Aristotle, dealing with the structure, organization, and administration of the state, esp. the city-state as known in ancient Greece.

The last definition really caught my eye. “Dealing with the structure, organization, and administration of the state”. So if that state is, well, a person, then i guess you could assassinate someone’s character. In other words, you could use this word for the destruction pretty much anything. But it’s a long word… so people don’t.


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