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Aethelflaed's avatar

How can something be both traditional and iconoclastic?

Asked by Aethelflaed (13702 points ) February 11th, 2012

I just read a phrase from Rick Santorum’s book, It Takes a Family, that reads, “and the greatest thorn in the liberals’ side, the iconoclastic traditional family”.

How can a family, or anything, be both traditional and iconoclastic at the same time? I thought iconoclasm was (other than the destruction of religious imagery) the attacking of tradition. Wordsmiths, help me out here.

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12 Answers

jaytkay's avatar

He was probably trying to say iconic.

downtide's avatar

I can only think that he’s made a mistake and the word does not mean what he thinks it means.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

It just a reflection of what clowns we have fighting to represent us. Is there a country with a functional government willing to take us in? Anyone looking for poor huddled masses?

Aethelflaed's avatar

Iconic. That actually makes a lot of sense.

nikipedia's avatar

He may be trying to say that what was once considered a traditional family is now so rare that living that lifestyle is iconoclastic?

SavoirFaire's avatar

I’m guessing it’s like @nikipedia said. This is a common political trope: the familiar outsider, the rebellious conformist. It’s what comes of trying to be everything to everyone.

jaytkay's avatar

That actually makes a lot of sense

I think you are being sarcastic. If you are serious, excuse me.

But here is how I see it.

He meant iconic.

Merriam Webster: A cultural icon can be a symbol, logo, picture, name, face, person, building or other image that is readily recognized and generally represents an object or concept with great cultural significance to a wide cultural group.

Wikipedia: In the media, many well-known manifestations of popular culture have been described as “iconic”...A representation of an object or person, or that object or person may come to be regarded as having a special status as particularly representative of, or important to, or loved by, a particular group of people

Aethelflaed's avatar

@jaytkay No, I was being totally serious. If I was being sarcastic, I would have said “yeah, iconic, cuz that makes total sense… ~”. It makes total sense to me that he thought the two words meant the same thing, or misspelled iconic and then chose the wrong autocorrect option.

jaytkay's avatar

@Aethelflaed Got it, thanks. It’s disarming when someone is earnest on the Internet! :-)

Aethelflaed's avatar

@SavoirFaire Hence, the tags. Also, that might be my favorite Princess Bride quote (but there are so many, it’s hard to tell).

Yetanotheruser's avatar

It’s an oxymoronic statement.~

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