Is "Merry Christmas" Offensive?

April - posted on 12/07/2010 ( 163 moms have responded )

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I recently had someone tell me that I offended them when I wished them a "Merry Christmas", that I should be more considerate of other beliefs and use a more neutral greeting like "Happy Holidays". It's not my intention to offend anyone but I AM a Christian, my family and I do recognize Christmas for what it is based on OUR beliefs by recognizing that Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Is it healthy to be a cookie cutter society where we can no longer appreciate the views and beliefs of others? I personally found their reaction to my holiday greeting and gesture offensive. What are your thoughts on this??

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Barb - posted on 12/10/2010

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I'm choking. wow! Umm.. Please note.. not ALL citizens of the United States agree/believe/acknowledge the previous statements of the poster that was so brave they couldn't even use their name to post.

I feel the overwhelming need to apologize for our education system, among other things.

Toni M, you are without a doubt, what i believe a true Christian to be. A "Christ like" person and i completely respect you for that. You are a non-judgmental compassionate, lovely lady.

With a couple other exceptions, the rest of you are just unwittingly pushing people onto the other side of the fence away from organized religion as more and more people see it as a complete and utter scam to manipulate and control the masses, and to justify injustices that have been perpetuated upon those very masses.

It's not just "MY COUNTRY" and it's not a CHRISTIAN country! And you know why?! because not just christians live here, not just christians died for freedom, not just christians built, bled and died for this country, not just christians make the laws, make the jobs, make the world go around.

This wonderful country of OURS is a beautifully unique melting pot rich with culture, traditions and people. And anyone who is too ignorant to take advantage of that deserves to be left along the sidelines as the rest of the world moves on.

Cynthia - posted on 12/10/2010

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Nope. Not offensive. I am a muslim. I wish people Merry Christmas. I get wished Merry Christmas. I wish my Jewish friends Happy Hannuka. Live and let live folks. A wish for happiness that is well intentioned is the point. I ahve friends and family that wish me a Happy Eid and it isn't their religious celebration. And besides the point Muslims believe in Jesus. He was a prophet. Peace be upon him. I think small minded, nothing better to do, bitter non-God loving people who like to stir up trouble are the ones crying offense.
Merry Christmas!

Johnny - posted on 12/10/2010

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I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who was under the impression that Catholics are indeed Christians. But, what the hell do I know? I'm agnostic. I don't even have any beliefs to sell out, compromise, or contradict, so Merry Christmas!!

Isobel - posted on 12/09/2010

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Sorry AN...my hand marked that as funny before I could stop it.

The idea that acting out the nativity scene has nothing to do with bringing Christianity into the schools is hilarious to me.

That being said, I love Christmas because it's what I grew up with, my family has tons of traditions and it has always held special meaning to me which (obviously) have nothing to do with Christ.

Why should I give up MY version of a holiday just because you want it to be ONLY about Christ. The Christians lost that right when they FORCED the rest of the world to comply with celebrating Christmas in the first place.

Plus, it's a nationally recognized day off work...which means it is ALSO a secular holiday (it has been legally recognized as such...at least in Canada) :D

~Jennifer - posted on 12/09/2010

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Christine said :"Egyptian god ra....Not in this case it's called a CHRISTmas Tree not an Egyptian Tree now you're just making an argument that's not relevant."



...so, now I say:





How many times do I have to post this today????





Many Pagan cultures used to cut boughs of evergreen trees in December, move them into the home or temple, and decorate them. Modern-day Pagans still do. This was to recognize the winter solstice -- the time of the year that had the shortest daylight hours, and longest night of the year. This occurs annually sometime between DEC-20 to 23: most often DEC-21. They noticed that the days were gradually getting shorter; many feared that the sun would eventually disappear forever, and everyone would freeze. But, even though deciduous trees, bushes, and crops died or hibernated for the winter, the evergreen trees remained green. They seemed to have magical powers that enabled them to withstand the rigors of winter.



Not having evergreen trees, the ancient Egyptians considered the palm tree to symbolize resurrection. They decorated their homes with its branches during the winter solstice.



"The first decorating of an evergreen tree began with the heathen Greeks and their worship of their god Adonia, who allegedly was brought back to life by the serpent Aessulapius after having been slain."



The ancient Pagan Romans decorated their "trees with bits of metal and replicas of their god, Bacchus [a fertility god]. They also placed 12 candles on the tree in honor of their sun god" Their mid-winter festival of Saturnalia started on DEC-17 and often lasted until a few days after the Solstice.



In Northern Europe, the ancient Germanic people tied fruit and attached candles to evergreen tree branches, in honor of their god Woden. Trees were viewed as symbolizing eternal life. This is the deity after which Wednesday was named. The trees joined holly, mistletoe, the wassail bowl and the Yule log as symbols of the season.



All predated Christianity.





So, there's something to think about while you're shoving the top of your pointy CHRISTmas tree up an angel's ass.



=)

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[deleted account]

I say Merry Christmas unless I know a person definately doesn't celebrate it, then I'll just wish them well in another way. I'm never offended by people wishing me Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukah, happy Diwali or any other kind of pleasent greeting and I can't understand people who are.

[deleted account]

all i can say about political correctness is BA HUMBUG! I'll wish people a Merry Christmas and if it offends them then they know where they can stick it

Jennifer - posted on 12/12/2010

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Thank you Barb and Mary. And Barb, I love what you wrote. That's how I feel exactly.

Stifler's - posted on 12/11/2010

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I live in white town. I'm pretty sure most people here celebrate Christmas. If they don't too bad coz there's Christmas shit everywhere and all the gift wrapping is Merry Christmas.

Johnny - posted on 12/11/2010

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Despite living in a place where a good portion of the community are not Christians, I see Merry Christmas signs everywhere, even on my local Halal butcher shop. I somehow suspect that those who are taking offense to Merry Christmas, might even be upset by Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanza, Happy Eid, Happy Diwali..... or especially Happy Holidays. They are scrooges. Grinches. Instead of just appreciating that someone has wished them happiness, they choose to focus on the fact that it isn't coming in the exact package they prefer it. Either that, or they simply just don't like being wished a Happy or Merry anything because they are miserable excuses for human beings. Personally, I'd just respond to being told it's offensive by sticking my tongue out and perhaps adding the finger. If they really want offensive, I can help...;-)

[deleted account]

Quoting Barb "Sharon, Thank you so much for sharing that. It is just beautiful and what i see the real every day, U.S. of A being like and about. Everyone having enough strength in their own faith to be respectful and considerate of others.
Please don't tell me you are Canadian now. Those Aussies and Canuks get everything!"

Proudly born & raised in New Jersey, and raised to be very tolerant of others. Growing up in a minority faith teaches you to be all-encompassing and respectful of others ;-) But live in backward-ass Arizona now.

Barb - posted on 12/11/2010

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I agree with Christina, even if they don't understand your beliefs, at least be respectful of them.

I'm sorry for your hurt Jennifer. And i don't want to use your hurt as an example but really that is what i've been trying to say.


It isn't about being politically correct, it's just about being respectful and considerate of other people. It's about realizing the world is made up of more than just christians and it's not all about you. It's not negating christ or christians or ones personal faith it's about being accepting and respecting of others as you would want them to be of yours.
Is the attitude of "i'm going to say merry christmas because i'm celebrating christ and i don't care what you think or how it makes you feel or what you have to say about it" a christ like attitude? Is that the attitude you want reciprocated? If you don't care about their religion/ideas/beliefs, why should they care about yours?

So in the end, is this helping or hurting?

**Disclaimer: I realize not everyone who is saying "merry christmas has this attitude, i'm talking about the ones who have the attitude about it, not just the words."

Jenn - posted on 12/11/2010

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I would like to happily report that where I live I was wished a Merry Christmas by several store clerks on my shopping adventures last night, our kids still sing O Canada at the start of a school day (yep - it has the word God in it), and we can do Christmas plays and parties. When we were in high school my sister was in the drama class play of Jesus Christ Superstar. :)

C. - posted on 12/11/2010

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Wow, Jennifer! That's horrible someone would say that :/ If they're your friend, they should be understanding of your beliefs and WHY you believe them.

Jennifer - posted on 12/11/2010

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I honestly didn't get it either. I was confused and really hurt by it. I deleted her from my FB. I felt like she did it to somehow tell me my religion is wrong and I found that to be really disrespectful.

C. - posted on 12/11/2010

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"We in the retail business and in such need to be diplomatic"

That's how it was when I was working. They made us say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas :/ All but a few customers always asked 'Why can't you say Merry Christmas?'.. I think some people can be a little over sensitive about the issue if they don't celebrate it.

Barb - posted on 12/11/2010

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Thank you Ladies. That just gets my back up. But i think you could tell LOL.

Sharon, Thank you so much for sharing that. It is just beautiful and what i see the real every day, U.S. of A being like and about. Everyone having enough strength in their own faith to be respectful and considerate of others.
Please don't tell me you are Canadian now. Those Aussies and Canuks get everything!

Tania - posted on 12/10/2010

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We in the retail business and in such need to be diplomatic. So we just wish everybody a happy festive season. You never know who might take offence. And especially if you make the mistake of wishing somebody merry Christmas that is Muslim or Buddhist or other.

[deleted account]

Barb, you rock!
Today was my last day of final exams. (Officially on break until Jan. 3rd) I wished all of my students "Merry, Christmas, behave, and be good to your parents". One young lady commented she celebrates Kwanaza, so I asked her to share her family traditions-it was nice to see all my kids (14-15 year olds) actually quite resepctful. Another kid said he is a Jehovah Witness and they don't celebrate holidays, but he's looking forward to going to his girlfriend's house for Christmas. It's all good! One Mormon teacher remembered to wish me Happy Hanukkah, but again, it's all good!

Dana - posted on 12/10/2010

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:( I'm so late to this debate. I say Merry Christmas, if I know someone of another religion, I say what is appropriate to them. I think Happy Holidays is boring, I'll use it if I have to but, meh.

Bonnie - posted on 12/10/2010

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@ Jennifer Eastwood, wow I can't believe that someone said that to you either! Why can't you say Happy Hanukkah. I don't get it.

Tabitha - posted on 12/10/2010

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i do not celebrate christmas but when someone wishes me a merry christmas i say thank you, i know it is meant as a nice gesture, not everyone knows your beliefs i dont think it is offensive at all i think people mean well by it.

Kalisha - posted on 12/10/2010

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its no need for people to be offended if you dont celebrate just keep it moving

Vegemite - posted on 12/10/2010

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hey Laura we're in agreeance! :) What a quote hay, awful. Barb you're right. To those Christians who think it ok to shove Christianity down peoples throat and beat them into submission it's not. It's not what Jesus did it's not what he told us to do, He told us to tell people about Him so I don't know why people who do think it's the right thing to do. All that does is drive people further away from God.

If you think you have to be aggressive and inconsiderate to bring someone to Christ here's scripture that suggests otherwise.

Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrated His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners Christ died for us." Surely if Christ died for us we can do as little as be nice and considerate. Just in case someone doesn't think that calls for consideration there's this



1Timothy 1:15 "Here's a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ came into the world to save sinners-of whom I am the worst." or



Mathew 7:13 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brothers' eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye"



Then there's the Mary Magdalene Story. Anyway you get what I'm saying.

~Jennifer - posted on 12/10/2010

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Barb,
If there was a "fuck yeah" rating, you'd get one from me.
Somehow, 'encouraging' just doesn't cover it....but I'm giving you one anyway....
=)

Samantha - posted on 12/10/2010

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I personally don't really celebrate christmas however, my kids do. I do christmas for them as a public holiday thing. If someone were to say to me Merry Christmas I am quite happy by it. I am not offended, if someone were to say "Happy whatever their festival is" I would try to reply the same, it's just spreading of good cheer nothing else isn't it.

Isobel - posted on 12/10/2010

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I should've added a wink and a smile to that one...I love me many a Christian :) ...it was just funny as hell

Isobel - posted on 12/10/2010

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I must admit "I used to be ...considerate of people before I became a Christian" has to be my FAVORITE quote EVER!

Isobel - posted on 12/10/2010

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welll...we found a few of the people who get all worked up here...but like I suspected, they are not of the Christmas offends me type.

Jennifer - posted on 12/10/2010

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I don't find it offensive, and will usually say Merry Christmas back, unless it's currently Hanukkah. Then I will say Happy Hanukkah. BUT, I've had people get offended by my saying that. It actually happened on Dec. 1st which was the first day of Hanukkah, and I posted Happy Hanukkah on my FB and someone actually posted, "No, Merry CHRISTmas." I was very hurt and couldn't believe this happened.

Gina - posted on 12/10/2010

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I agree with you, I would be offended by that reaction too. You were basically wishing her well, it doesn't matter if they celebrate christmas or not. If someone wished me a happy hannukah or happy winter solstice or whatever, I would say thanks, you too. You don't have to believe the same thing to accept a well wish. People are dumb.

Jenifer - posted on 12/10/2010

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I'm with you on this, April! It is no way offensive to wish someone a "Merry Christmas". if they don't like Christmas, they don't have to celebrate it. Hell is nice and warm in the winter. Socially safer does not mean right. I used to be overly considerate of others in this way until I became a Christian. Now it bothers me when people say Happy Holidays (instead of Christmas, like stores, it just kind of rubs me the wrong way), although I used to say it because of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and New Year being all together around the end of the year. Don't worry about others, as long as you are doing what you believe, I think you are on the right track. It's what my family would do. Hang in there! God Bless!

But I would never make someone feel bad about personally wishing me (some other holiday).

User - posted on 12/10/2010

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You are what you are,so you keep standing for what you believe in,if someone is affended by your statement you should remind them that considertion works both ways. If you are considerate enough to be tolerent of there beliefs then they also should do the same. I don't know about you or anyone else,but frankly Im tied of haven to defend my right as a christian to excersie my faith,its that faith that MY COUNTRY was founded on,and I think as a christian Nation we should star stepping on a few toes and forget being politley correct,We are a nation founded on Christan veiws,the father ,son amd holly gohst.If you don't like it leave itwho ask you to come anyways. If you are a American and this offends you then again to bad,your still entitle to your oppinon but that dosen't make it right. IN GOD WE TRUST, GOD BLESS AMERICA,get it. you don't have to believe,but you better respect our God.

Wynona - posted on 12/10/2010

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I WISH U MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I BELEVE A SAVIOR WAS BORN, AND I WISH TO CELLEBRATE HIS BIRTH. IF SOMEONE ELSE DOESN'T SHARE THIS JOY - VERY SAD!! YOU' R RIGHT. WE OWE IT TO OUR SAVIOR. AND IF A PERSON DOESN'T BELIEVE - THEY MAY SIMPLY REPLY - HELLO. I'M NOT WORRIED ABOUT BEING POLITICALLY COREECT - JUST MORALLY CORRECT!!

Brenda - posted on 12/10/2010

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No. This country was founded by christian men and Christmas is not only celebrated by Christians. I celebrated Christmas before becoming a Christian and so do thousands of other people. I would expect to be wished Happy Channukah (sp?) by someone who is Jewish and would not be offended in the least! People are just stupid and need to get over it

Mary - posted on 12/10/2010

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Most people I know that are different religions, do not get offended. They tell me that b/c they know most people in their community are Christian & the greeting is given w/best of intentions, they take it w/in the spirit it was given. I say Merry Xmas, unless I know that the person to whom I'm speaking is of another religion, then I try to use the appropriate holiday greeting for them. I find most people are appreciative of a friendly greeting (even if it is stated mistakenly) So sorry that you ran into one of the few that don't.

Stacy - posted on 12/10/2010

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I grew up as a Jehovah's Witness. We did not celebrate Christmas. If I was ever wished a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays I would simply say "Thank you". No need to be rude to someone with good intentions :)

Adena - posted on 12/10/2010

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This is a topic of agree to disagree to me. I am a christian woman and here is what I say about it and I would have to the person who told you this! I am very up front so, I will tell anyone anything. I have that right! "I dont care what you believe in, I believe in God and this is Jesus' birthday if it wasnt for him we wouldnt have hoidays. I will say Merry Christmas as much as I want and to who I want. You are rude for even telling me that I offended you, because now you just offended me and took my Lord in vein. Maybe you should pray for forgivness". Thats what I would have told the old hag.

Hannah - posted on 12/10/2010

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Carol, I was wondering where all these uptight people live too. I don't think there are many people that are offended by either term BUT, I do think the ones that ARE offended are big loudmouths. Because they are so vocal about being offended it gets more attention. I was telling the story about the TWO people who were upset about the nativity scene here at the capital, and posted flyers with a picture of a NO over the nativity scene. It got so much attention and ended brining more attention to the nativity scene. That was a catch 22 if you ask me.

Krista - posted on 12/10/2010

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Oh jumping Jesus... if someone wished me a Happy Rosh Hashana I'd be all, "Same to you!"
I think people have gone WAY past what the term Merry Christmas means and have gone WAY into religion. Yes, Christmas is a Christian thing. HOWEVER, someone wishing you Merry Christmas simply means that they wish you all the best for the goddamn holidays. Take the fucking thought and shove it up your ass if you don't like it.

Vegemite - posted on 12/10/2010

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Catholics, anglicans, baptist, orthidox, non-denominational, reformed, methodist, lutheran, presbyterian and more are all different denominations of the Christian faith and they all have different sections as well.

Rachel - posted on 12/10/2010

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Sherri, in basic principal they are very similar. But as a practice they are not. Baptist, for the most parts, don't have confessions, Latin prayers, the divisions of praying to the various saints and some of the same "rules" for communion as some of the Catholic practices do. Of course each have their own variations and that can always be argued to death. I'm speaking of day to day practices not the faith belief as a whole. If your speaking of faith as a whole, they are almost identical, if not identical if you take out the various "versions" of each branch.

Isobel - posted on 12/10/2010

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yup...all Catholics ARE Christian, but not all Christians are Catholic, just the same as all Chihuahuas are dogs but all dogs are NOT Chihuahuas.

Becky - posted on 12/10/2010

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Catholicism and Christianity are not 2 different things. Catholicism and Protestantism (is that a word?!) are two different things. They are both sects of Christianity.

Isobel - posted on 12/10/2010

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I'm glad to hear that somebody agrees with me Christine...tell me, how are you heating your igloo/teepee this winter?

Sherri - posted on 12/10/2010

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Now that is funny Rachel because I see Catholics and Baptists very similiar in nature.

Christine - posted on 12/10/2010

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This is a topic I may take to heart a little to much. Now please dont think I am racest or anyhting along thoes lines! I am just not a believer in coming to a different country and making them change to suit me. This is Canada, here we say Merry Christmas and I am proud of it. There was never a problem with it befor. I think its horrible that the kids cant even take Christmas holidays anymore! Theres no more Merry Christmas its all Happy holidays. But that will not stop me from saying Merry Christmas. I will still teach my kids about Christmas and to say Merry Christmas. We arnt religious either so im not as hard core as some others may be, but i get more offended when after thousands of years of Christmas now it has to be changed to make everyone happy that doesnt celebrate it. By all means if you dont celebrate Christmas then thats totally fine, I dont celebrate Chinese New Year, or Ramadan, or hanukkah, but I do not get offended nor will I get offended if someone wished me greetings for these times. I believe we all believe and celebrate different things and in different countrys we must respect their beliefs aswell. cause im sure they wont change it if a few thousand of us move there and demand them to stop their way of teaching, celebrating ect in order to make us feel good. It makes me very mad! Im sorry if I offend anyone, it is honestly NOT my intention I am just a very firm believer in Christmas and we shouldnt have to change what has been the same for thousands of years because a "handfull" get offended by our beliefs and religion.
So MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all! Wheather you want to hear it or not. =)

Rachel - posted on 12/10/2010

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Catholics are Christians but there is a difference between Catholicism (Roman Catholic Church) and Christianity (Baptist, Non-denominational, whatever). I think that's where the fight is even though both are Christians just different ways of practicing.

Isobel - posted on 12/10/2010

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Catholics are Christians...and those who think differently don't know the meaning of the word.

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