Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Distorted Usage of the Words, " Lobby " and "Lobbyists" in the English and Arabic Languages.

By Sodium

Now-a-days, one may frequently hear, or read, in the mainstream media, the English words, " lobby " and " lobbyists " to mean " political pressure or political pressure exertion " for " lobby " and " doers of political pressure exertion " for " lobbyists, " respectively.

In the views of the writer of this post, both of the above usages are distorted, since the ORIGINAL meaning of  a " lobby " in the English language is simply a "hall, " or a " corridor " in a building. Therefore, the question that one may raise is the following one:

Why then the meaning of the word, " lobby, " has been degenerated, or degraded, or expanded or extended, ( you make your own choice of these words ), to mean " political pressure exertion " and its derivative, "lobbyists " to mean "doers/forces of political pressure exertion " ?  In other words, where such meanings of " lobby " and " lobbyists " have come from ?

It had taken the writer of this post a considerable amount of time to find an answer to the above question and would like to share what he had find with the readers of this website:

After the American military General, Ulysses Grant, became President in 1864, ( that was after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln ), he used to set in the lobby of the Willard Hotel, in Washington DC, and receive some of the citizens who wished to meet him, in person, in order to submit their requests or complaints. And he did such an admirable act of listening to their requests or complaints, in the LOBBY of Willard Hotel, on regular basis. Hence, he was the person who "coined the term lobbyists," although the English dictionaries had no place in their listings for the word, " lobbyists. " In other words, It was President Ulysses Grant who actually introduced the word " lobbyists " to the English language.  For further information, please check the following link:


What the Arabic language has to do with all of this ?

Well, as the writer of this essay reviews some of the Arab World's mainstream media, he has noticed that an increasing number of Arab journalists, reporters and forecasters have fallen into the same trap, or rather in the same trench, as their American peers who have fallen into, for sometimes by now; and it seems almost impossible to persuade them to refrain from emulating their American peers who have their own reasons for distorted usage of the word, " lobby " to mean, " act of political pressure exertion, " on members of the Senate and House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States of America. The intent of such a distortion could have been innocent in nature, but it was/is still an act of distortion, regardless how one might have wished to be accommodating to such an intent. 

Moreover, the word " lobby " sounds so un-understandable by those Arabs who are illiterate  in the English language. So is also the case with the word, lobbyists. "  To those people, who know no English, such strange words mean nothing to them.. And there are millions upon millions of such people in the Arab World, today.

Why not calling the " ACT of Political Pressure Exertion, " what it actually is, " Al-zught Al-siyasi " and the " Doers of the Political Pressure Exertion " what they actually are also, "Quwa Al-zught Al-siyasi," instead of " Lobby " and "Lobbyists, " respectively. In doing so, a degree of respect is maintained towards those Arabs who know no English and the abuse of the Arabic language is avoided.


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