The Etymology of ‘Organic’; or, the genesis of the modern asshole
Following, you will find progressive dictionary entries for ‘Organic‘ tracking the term’s gradual degradation.
c. 1967, Random House unabridged (cf. omitted):
Organic adj 1. noting or pertaining to a class of compounds that formerly comprised only those existing in or derived from plants or animals, but that now includes all other compounds of carbon. […] 2. characteristic of, pertaining to, or derived from living organisms: organic remains found in rocks. 3. of or pertaining to an organ or the organs of an animal or plant. 4. of, pertaining to, or affecting living tissue: organic pathology. 5. Psychol. caused by structural impairment or change: organic disorder. […] 6. Philos. having an organization similar in its complexity to that of living things. 7. characterized by the systematic arrangement of parts; organized; systematic: elements fitting together into a unified, organic whole. 8. of or pertaining to the constitution or structure of a thing; constitutional; structural: The flaws in his writing are too organic to be easily remedied. 9. developing in a manner analogous to the natural growth and evolution characteristic of living organisms; arising as a natural outgrowth. 10. viewing or explaining something as having a growth and development analogous to that of living organisms: an organic theory of history. 11. of, pertaining to, involving, or grown with the use of fertilizers or pesticides of animal or vegetable origin, as distinguished from manufactured chemicals: organic farming. 12. Law. of or pertaining to the constitutional or essential law or laws organizing the government of a state. 13. Archit. noting or pertaining to any work of architecture regarded as analogous to plant or animal forms in having a structure and a plan that fulfil perfectly the functional requirements for the building and that form in themselves an intellectually lucid, integrated whole. 14. Fine Arts. of or pertaining to the shapes or forms in a work of art that are of irregular contour and seem to resemble or suggest forms found in nature. ––n. 15. a substance as a fertilizer or pesticide, of animal or vegetable origin. […]
* Note: term 11’s position on the list.
c. 2004, Penguin Ref.:
Organic adj. 1a of or derived from living organisms. b denoting the production of food, etc carried out using fertilizer solely of plant or animal origin without the aid of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, etc, or the food, etc so produced: organic farming. 2a of or arising in a bodily organ. b affecting the structure of an organism: […]
c. 2007, Google; or, the Internet Guide to a Well-rounded Education:
c. 2009, S&N Quick Ref.:
Organic n. 1. an unnatural phenomenon arising from the need of a major portion of the affluent community to justify their misgivings at the failure of recycling to adequately alleviate misplaced guilt and thereby grow things in shit, and only shit, and deny animals adequate and equal medical attention and inoculation against disease. 2. derog a grave condition that deludes one into thinking that it is socially acceptable to impose one’s fallacious dietary restrictions on others, esp on the host of a dinner party, without notice. Compare: VEGETARIAN, VEGAN, DICK. 3. v. a process of denial by which the mind tricks one into false righteousness and a general distrust of human progress.
Thus concludes our lesson of the day. Your homework is to eat at least one inorganic (yup) item within the next twenty-four hours. Failure to complete the assignment will result in a force-feeding of salad greens grown in your own excrement. Furthermore, any commitment to eating certified organic meats will result in the immediate revocation of any post-secondary certifications in English that you might possess as well as the absolute denial of modern veterinary practices for any and all of your beloved pets should they happen to fall desperately ill. It’s not cruel, it’s organic.
With much love and many hateful glares,
Postscriptum. Incidentally, if you read my previous post entitled Les Fruits de Mer de la Toilette, you might realize that the South African cray, as cultivated in the Thunderdome, is certified organic.