This morning I heard a member of Utahâ€™s delegation to the Republican National Convention tell a radio talk show host that â€œthere is a really special feeling among the Republican delegation.â€ Could you run that by me again? Because in my world, â€œspecial feelingâ€ is Mormon code for â€œHoly Spirit.â€ Can I help it if I suddenly had visions of a sacrament-meeting-esque convention with testimonies and tears? What is going on out there in Minnesota?
Seriously, though, after I got done laughing, I started wondering about language. I really have no qualms with Mormons having a peculiar tongue; organizations as diverse as the federal government, international corporations, and college campuses all seem to acquire acronyms and other words to describe policies, programs, buildings, and regulations. So we go to RS Enrich and need to do our VT or HT but not on Monday night because that is FHE. Iâ€™m fine with that. At BYU you might want to go the WILK for lunch before you study in the MARB or Harold.
I find it intriguing, however, when regular words are used as part of the secret code. Anyone could have heard the radio broadcast, and the words would have made sense. There is nothing innately Mormon about â€œspecial feelings.â€ The words might mean that there is a nice feeling of camaraderie at the convention or that patriotic emotions are running high. But the words mean something different to one schooled in Mormon code. â€œSpecialâ€ is a cipher word, though it is a tricky one because â€œspecialâ€ means different things depending on what it is describing. The â€œspecialâ€ girl you went out with last week is not at all similar to the â€œspecial feelingâ€ you had during testimony meeting. Can you help me think of other words that have different meanings in an LDS cultural context? Possibly I should change that last question: do the words have a different meaning in a Utah LDS context? Do these code words have “special” meaning to anyone who is LDS? or are they American- or even Utah-based Mormon slang?
You can let me know about it tomorrow because tonight Iâ€™ll be watching the Republican National Convention. I pray every day to follow the guidance of the Spirit, so Iâ€™m watching the RNC. You know, just in case.