Imo, it would highly counterproductive for the GOG boycott group to tear itself apart over an argument about semantics.
That's not an argument about semantics, but about what you're even doing here at all. Also language doesn't work like that. Yes, over time a word may change it's meaning when misapplied consistantly by a vast majority of people. That's not the same as one person misapplying a term because it's convenient for them being automatically correct. By that logic no word actually means anything. If you call a dog a turkey it won't be correct because "language may change", and it won't be a matter of "semantics". It will just be flat out wrong. As is saying you boycott a store when you make purchases at it.
The thing is, there isn't an objective "application;" rather, constantly fluid subjective applications. The fact that many/most people agree on a particular subjective application is what makes it seem like there even is something to "misapply." All that is needed for application is for a
group (even as small as two people) of people to agree on a term (as an aside, food for thought, names and nicknames work the same). A word or phrase could literally be made up "out of nowhere" by the group but if they agree on the meaning then it has meaning to that group
. Similar case for slang words which function the same for those who use them as "official" words do.
I would say calling a dog a turkey is not a good analogy for what is going on here, as your example of a dog involves an individual living being, and here we are just using a concept of not purchasing/purchasing less. Ir
regardless, to say that "by that logic no word actually means anything" seems meant as a reductio ad absurdum but it's actually something that can be accepted. There is no objective meaning to them; they are descriptors we apply, made up of letters which are also arbitrary shapes we choose to use together. Like I said earlier, it is not as though there is like a wild "letter A" roaming around the universe. It is something we made up, just like slang, and really, just like "official" words.
All that said, can anyone who is criticizing the use of the term "boycott" elaborate what problem is caused by some of us calling what we are doing a boycott, even though you disagree with our usage?
The only thing I can think of is if one is worried that, since we're so subjective, we will change the topic into something else entirely (which ironically those derailing it over semantics have done). But I think us boycotters have been pretty clear individually about what we are doing, and have remained consistent in our individual positions at least. Shouldn't those of you who disagree be more focused on calling out GOG's use of "DRM-free"??
That would be more productive.