In context of language or vocabulary, words come and go, sometimes lose relevance, are relegated to museum of words. A word which falls into category of vocabulary already relegated to museum of words is the word ‘longsuffering’.
What exactly does it mean to be ‘longsuffering’, and why exactly has the word fallen out of favor?
The word longsuffering means
“suffering for a long time without complaining.”
What exactly one wonders is wrong with the word ‘longsuffering’, as in the meaning of the word? Is it not true that people can suffer for long periods of time without complaining, especially if complaining brought on additional hardships?
In the Bible, work lives of descendants of Abraham were made more difficult when through Moses they demanded their freedom. Prior to that event, they had been longsuffering — suffering for a long time without complaining.
During the days of slavery in the Western world, much as was the case with descendants of Abraham, complaining by slaves brought on additional hardships. We conclude then that it is not the case that the word longsuffering cannot be deemed to be appropriate to certain situations.
But then slavery got abolished. Since everyone now could do something, no matter how small about their situations, the word longsuffering totally lost relevance, was replaced with words like Patience, Endurance, Perseverance, all of which connote some resistance to challenges or difficulties of life. In a world within which slavery was abolished, the word longsuffering totally lost relevance.
With relegation of the word longsuffering to museum of words in our rear view, we conclude that sometimes words are coined for describing of situations that ought not to exist, situations such as requiring of longsuffering. We find then that in meanings of words we can sense opportunities for meaningful change, opportunities that taken advantage of lead to relegation of situations and words that ought not to exist to museum of history of life, to museum of history of words.
In our choice of words to keep, words to coin, and words to relegate to museum of words, there always is opportunity for bettering of situations and relationships in society.