Woke or Awake or Woken?

It’s quite funny that a great deal of those who call themselves awake, call for The Great Awakening, call the other side – Hollywood, Silicon Valley, often „progressives“ in general – out as „woke“. With contempt, with derision, in many cases with ire, sometimes even with hate.

So both sides must have long been asleep, till they woke up, one side into being woke, the other awakenedly awake. The latter, by the other side named „fascists“, „nazis“, „white supremacists“, „conspiracy theory crazies“, since recently even „domestic terrorists“ – and so on.

„Ever more people are waking up!“ – That is sort of the mantra amongst those of the Q-movement and many others who are against wokeness. But be careful: Wake up to be awakened, never to get woke.

OK. This ist already becoming a bit redundant, the absurdity of this wording should be made clear at this point.

One could now make the point that the unwoke awakened were the first to be woke, and woke progessiveness was claimed later. Might they thus claim a copyright on the verb „wake“ and all its derivatives? Or are the unwoke awakened villains who snatched the word artfully, to not allow real wokeness ever getting into play? Or did the woke realize that in order to crush the awakened they had to get their hand on the concept?

As a linguist I’m really becoming confused.

Of course, there are words that may – depending on context – mean their own opposite. This is quite common with particles (well may mean good but also start a contadicting sentence), in Latin „altus“ means high and deep (which is not at all unlogical, a matter of perspective), and in English we have „host“ with its various meanings (these of course mainly because different roots came together in homonymes and even homophones).

Anyway, I haven’t heard of a language in which „woke“ or „awake“ can mean either asleep (dumb, weird, or modern) or awake, in the sense of not asleep (enlightened, fascist, terrorist).

Well, in my dreams (when I am asleep) some stories there encountered are more logical, at least pleasing, playful and inspiring, than those I stumble on when woke or awake. Maybe that’s why I like to sleep long hours sometimes.


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