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“A Holocaust” and “The Holocaust” – Is There A Difference? – Hoofnagle

I’m going to tread into a territory that I know can be controversial, but I am genuinely interested in your input. To this day I am seeing people hammer RFK Jr for saying

“They get the shot, that night they have a fever of a hundred and three, they go to sleep, and three months later their brain is gone,” Kennedy said. “This is a holocaust, what this is doing to our country.”

Now I am trying to understand why there isn’t a difference between “a holocaust” and “THE Holocaust”.

Every article I have come across slamming RFK Jr. for his comment quotes him incorrectly. Every single one. They say he compared vaccine injury to THE holocaust. That is NOT what he said.

If you look up the definition of “holocaust” it says

destruction or slaughter on a mass scale, especially caused by fire or nuclear war.
“a nuclear holocaust”
synonyms: cataclysm, disaster, catastrophe;

2. The mass murder of Jews under the German Nazi regime during the period 1941–45. More than 6 million European Jews, as well as members of other persecuted groups, such as gypsies and homosexuals, were murdered at concentration camps such as Auschwitz.
singular proper noun: Holocaust; noun: the Holocaust

3. historical
a Jewish sacrificial offering that is burned completely on an altar.
Middle English: from Old French holocauste, via late Latin from Greek holokauston, from holos ‘whole’ + kaustos ‘burned’ (from kaiein ‘burn’).

So, as you see there is a singular proper noun “Holocaust” which would refer to THE Holocaust. Then the other definitions and uses of the word… I see a difference. Am I alone in this?

Let me give you an example: My pal David Gorski (sarcasm) wrote a blog post a while back where he made this statement:

“I’ve alluded before to my observation that blogging tends to be a “feast or famine” sort of activity.”

Lets look at the word “Famine”. Famine is defined as

extreme scarcity of food.
“drought could result in famine throughout the region”

Now if you look back in history, you will find The Great Famine of Ireland – 1.5 million dead, 2 million emigrated. Should the use of the word famine be discouraged or even apologized for because it can be connected to The Great Famine of Ireland?

The Bengal famine of 1770 killed 10 million

Four famines in China between 1810 and 1849 killed 45 million

1876–1879 The ENSO Famine in India, China, Brazil, Northern Africa (and other countries). Killed 18.25 million in Northern China and India alone

Do we now demand an apology from David Gorski for comparing blogging to the famines that have killed hundreds of millions of people?