WORDS AND MEANINGS
Bob at Unfogged has an interesting post on the radical environmental group Earth Liberation Front, which recently burned down a Hummer dealership in addition to other acts of terrorism.
I have nothing to add to Bob’s comments except a question: Since when is arson “vandalism”? That’s what NPR is calling it and what Bob refers to it as in his news summary. (I’m pretty sure Bob calls it that because the news media are using that term.) The use is correct in the denotative sense from Webster’s as “willful wanton and malicious destruction of the property of others,” conotatively, “vandalism,” to me at least, implies spraypainting “Save the planet!” on the windows or setting off shaving cream bombs, not mass destruction of propery. Indeed, Webster’s synonyms of “hoologanism” and “malicious mischief” have that milder meaning.