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The Word "Prove" Is Losing Its Meaning
Joe Kennedy
July 16, 2014

Dear Internet,

 

You're using the word "prove" wrong. You have been for years. And after suffering in silence for so long, I can't take it anymore, and I have to speak up. Let me start off by letting you know what the word "prove" means. From Merriam Webster's website:

to establish the existence, truth, or validity of (as by evidence or logic)

From that example, you can gather that in order to "prove" something, you need to supply evidence or logic to establish truth. Now obviously you need sufficient evidence, not just some evidence, otherwise I'd be able to say that the fact that my name is Joe proves that every person's name is Joe, which is plainly a ridiculous statement to make. In the scientific field of mathematics, a proof must demonstrate that a statement is always true.

 

The reason I bring mathematics into the picture is because I majored in it. If you didn't major in Mathematics or another science, this statement probably gives you one of two impressions. (1) Maybe your thought about that is, "Oh, well, I'm majoring in Creative Writing and writing essays all the time is so hard". Well first off, it's not, and second off, name a great writer who majored in Creative Writing in college. (2) Alternatively, your thought is, "Hey, you must be a smart guy for obtaining a degree with such a useful major, unlike Creative Writing, which is what I'm majoring in". Then first off, no, I am an idiot, and second off, Mathematics is a major that has no discernable uses, save for knowing how to prove things.

 

College majors aside, here's the thing, Internet. There is no such thing as proof by example. There are plenty methods of proof, but proof by example is not one of them. There's direct proof, proof by induction, proof by contradiction, proof by contrapositive, and also a bunch of others. Not included among those, again, is proof by example. See a pattern here? Proof by example does not exist. So when you say something like 5 Amazing Facts That Prove E-Cigarettes Are the Next Big Thing, you're over-looking the a bunch of counterexamples, like how they'll give you the same amount of cancer as regular cigarettes and when you smoke one you look like a fucking idiot.

 

Or how about 5 News Stories That Prove The Apocalypse Is Here? Pretty easy to disprove that one. Like the fact that the apocalypse isn't here. And sometimes it doesn't even seem like you guys are even trying. Undeniable Proof That The Cast Of THE HUNGER GAMES Is Also The Cast Of SpongeBob SquarePants? Oh really Internet? Are you sure this article shouldn't be titled "Pictures Of The Cast Of THE HUNGER GAMES Next To Pictures Of The Cast Of SpongeBob SquarePants"? Because the only thing you've proven to me is that you were able to find multiple pictures of both things.

 

Internet, some of your uses of the word "prove" are simply downright offensive, like your assertion that there are 36 Things That Prove Scientists Have Too Much Time On Their Hands. Really? Then why are there diseases that still haven't been cured? Why aren't we using hover cars yet? And how do we still not know what or where the g-spot actually is? These are things that millions of scientists are working on right.

 

One last thing, Internet. And this might be the worst. With the way you use the word "prove", there is no way to distinguish between what's an article you've actually written and what's an article title that I'm making up right now. You figure out for yourself which ones are real.

 

  • Undeniable Proof That Dark Side Was Recorded As A Soundtrack To WIZARD OF OZ
  • 35 Images That Prove That Puppies Are Happier Than Humans
  • 6 Germans Who Prove Every German Is An Evil Anti-Semite

  • 7 Actions That Prove The Illuminati Is A Branch Of The French Government

  • 3 Movies That Prove Christian Bale Plays Batman In Every Movie
  • 4 Actors That Prove Every Actor Is A Baldwin Brother

 

So which did you make up and which did I make up? I made up all of them. Screw you Internet. Use words correctly.

Joe Kennedy is a staunch technophobe and suffers from a debilitating fear of human hands. If for some reason you'd like to get in touch with him, send a letter to 463 Mass Ave Cambridge MA 02139.

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