When you engage in armed conflict, where you fight is just as important as what you fight with. Use or denial of terrain is an important component of any battle plan. A successful commander picks where he will engage the enemy, so that the terrain and conditions favor him more than his opponent. At the Battle of Agincourt, Henry V positioned his forces so the French had to cross open, muddy terrain to reach the English forces. When the French advanced, they became mired in the mud, which in turn destroyed their maneuverability and the advantages of their cavalry. This allowed the English archers (armed with that famous English Longbow) to obliterate the French forces. The French could not hide, could not evade and could not retreat. That day, for every Englishman who died, the French lost over 10. No wonder Shakespeare immortalized this battle in his play Henry V ("Once more into the breech, my friends, once more;").
Engagements in the battle of ideas are no different. We do not fight physically (okay, in other places like the Japanese Diet they do) but there needs to be a common language and set of terms used in this debate. I can best relate this in a video I remember but can't find, the guy brings flowers home to his wife as a gesture of his love and devotion to her. She is mad because she doesn't like flowers and ignores the fact that he tried to do something nice for her. It's sad that they are arguing with each other about two completely different subjects. He is asking for recognition of his expression of love despite the miscue, while she is arguing that he doesn't love her because he doesn't present her with what she wants. This is why when we discuss controversial subjects, we need to use the same words and terms, and those words and terms mean the same thing to both sides. If we don't agree on the battlefield (words, terms and their meanings) then we are just yelling at each other in different languages for different reasons and nothing gets resolved.
How are the two preceding paragraphs related? If one side was to let the other define the terms and the scope of the discussion, the side that defines the terms and scope is Henry V and the English, while the poor sap that has to charge across that open quagmire is Charles d'Albret and the French.
Case in point: This young man is debating his very Liberal Indoctrination Facilitator Teacher and she puts forth the silly notion that the Las Vegas shooter was a terrorist. I have queued the video to the appropriate part, but you should watch the entire video.
The student gives the correct definition of the word terrorist, namely someone who engages in terrorism, which is the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. Did the LV shooter's actions cause terror? Of course, I don't doubt that for a second. If I had been on that killing field, I would have been terrified. Did he have a reason to kill all those people, such as to "punish Trump supporters," or "to coerce people to convert to Islam or die" (both of those are political reasons, BTW)? If he did, he was stupid enough to not tell anyone his reasons before his heinous act and subsequent death, thus squandering the opportunity.
To be frank, any act of violence usually causes terror in the receivers of that violence. By a simple extrapolation of her definition, every person who commits a violent act is a terrorist. So, if every violent criminal is a terrorist, it dilutes the term to uselessness by the time a real terrorist (Ted Kaczynski, Timothy McVeigh and Osama Bin Laden to name a few) arrives on the scene. And by a small leap of logic ("Liberal logic" is the worst oxymoron I can think of) every White person is a racist, every male is a sexist, every straight person is homophobic and right on down the line of identity politics.
Are those prior suppositions true? I am sure zero of the above suppositions are no where near the truth. Why? For two simple reasons. First, you can't say "all" in any of these cases. I'm sure I could find one White person who is not a racist, simply because they love and/or married a person of another race. I would call that pretty extensive evidence contradictory to the original claim. Second, none of those suppositions follow the definition as written in the dictionary.
Just for discussion's sake, let's suppose that this young man accepted his "teacher's" incorrect and distorted definition of terrorist. Do you think he could have held his ideological ground in that discussion as well as he did? Not really, he would have been fighting an uphill battle. Do you think she would have had a great advantage in the discussion? Yes, for the very reason I explained in the opening paragraph of this article. By letting the terms and boundaries of the discussion to be set by distorted definitions, he would have seceded the selection of the battlefield to her and would have consequently been mired down in her twisted definitions and cut to pieces by her "Liberal logic" (that term leaves a bad taste in my mouth just thinking about saying those words!). Also, if you accept a different definition of a word or term at the start of a discussion, you leave the door open for a re-definition in the middle of the discussion, putting you at a further disadvantage because there is now a third definition in play. Of course, if during the discussion one of the other definitions is more advantageous to the Liberal's argument, they will switch to that and not tell you. Think of it as a "Verbal Calvinball."
This is why when words are used, everyone needs to agree to what they mean, and the dictionary is the neutral ground. "Sociological Context" is merely the Political Correctness of the 21st century.