Precision of language

From Symmetry of Soul

"You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means." Two words you've always considered synonyms probably are not synonyms as used in The Urantia Book (e.g., choice and decision). A word might be used in its literal and etymologyical sense, not in some connotation rife with the baggage of today (e.g, religion). The stnadard use of a word today may have drited from the common usage in the early 20th century (e,g., bisexual)

Example: Crisis

“The ideas, motives, and longings of a lifetime are openly revealed in a crisis.” 187:2.4 (2007.3)

What’s a crisis? There is the midlife crisis, with its cliches of aging fellows in red sports cars chasing something that cannot be recaptured. There is the German equivalent Torschlusspanik, literally “the shutting-door-panic,” but panic is hardly a suitable root word. How about Paper 153, an entire paper devoted to a crisis? Its Capernaum crisis is defined as “the outward turning of the tide of [Jesus’ public ministry’s] popular fame and acclaim. . . the transition from the period of discussion, controversy, and decision to that of open warfare and final acceptance or final rejection.” 153:1.2 (1708.1) That sounds very close to the etymological roots of crisis: “to sieve, discriminate, distinguish.”

The stakes of my crisis were individual and tiny relative to Paper 153, but yes, I had one. My crisis began in my 41st year. In retrospect, it was not a cliched midlife crisis (I still drive the same trusty tan sedan) or Torschlusspanik (I never needed anxiety medication). It was more like some quiet recognition, some seemingly inexorable transition-evolution from “discussion, controversy, and decision” to “final acceptance.” Through my crisis I learned how to understand the Book of Ecclesiastes, the truth of Moby Dick, and what our authors mean when they write “do not become discouraged by the discovery that you are human.” 156:5.8 (1739.3)

I shall not bore you with details of those crisis years. I’ll put it this way: adulthood took me on a journey far into the wastelands of secularism—two atheistic science degrees, one lavish government job, and essentially zero liberal-arts education. After 20 years, the crisis was finally accepting what had begun to dawn: there was other business to be about. “No chick may be had without the shell, and no shell is of any worth after the chick is hatched.” 48:6.32 (554.6)