Religious words in a secular context

CNN is running this headline today: Airlines propose marketing triune. I, being ignorant, had no idea what a triune was. Looking it up in Merriam-Webster gives the only definition as “trinity” and says it’s often capitalized. Primary definition of “trinity” is the religious one. My first thought is that’s a pretty obscure word for a headline, but it’s interesting it’s an obscure word used primarily in a religious context. Try and find a secular use on Google, for instance.

If they had used “trinity” in the headline instead, would that have been crossing a line? If so, are there other words that would cross that line too? Should words used principally by religions be used in a general descriptive context?

How the heck do you propose an adjective ? If they wanted to imply a 3-fold structure they should have used a noun like triad, triumverate or troika. Avoiding sinister connotations is no excuse for abusing the structure of language.

How about “three-pronged?”

Do you think Jesus ever used the phrase “Jesus fucking Christ”?

I don’t think so; it isn’t a registered trademark of any religion and anyway, this sort of thing happens all the time.

I hear the word “trinity” used in secular settings all the time. Anyone who watches Emeril Live knows that “the trinity” is a mixture of chopped onions, carrots and celery.

Squink has a point: Grammatically the sentence should have been “Airlines propose triune marketing”, where “triune” modifies “marketing”. I am guessing someone dug the word out of their electronic thesaurus w/o stopping to check for proper usage.

I am guessing someone else dug the word out of one’s dictionary without noting that “triune” is both an adjective and a noun.

Touché, rmbnxs.

However, the use of the generic-plural “their” in place of the correct but awkward “his/her” OR of the “generic masculine” “his”, IS a change in language I happen to favour :wink:

Damn, you’re right. I missed it.

Not likely, since he probably didn’t speak English.

When Windows was first released we received a help desk call from someone offended at the non-religious use of the work icon to describe the little pictures on their desktop.

I do think people need to be aware of the connotations of the words they are using. I don’t enjoy sitting in a business meeting where someone uses “rape” to describe the terms of a contract. At the same time, “triune” is pretty obscure in both its religious and secular definitions, and trinity has a long history of non-religious usage.

(I’d have used troika myself, always liked that word).

My guess was that they thought if they used the word “trinity,” people would have thought they were talking about a vinyl-clad hot-lookin’ hacker chick, which isn’t what they were trying to suggest…