[LMB] people's use of language is funny (for some values of funny)

Peter Hews Peterhews at protonmail.com
Tue Jul 13 20:20:14 BST 2021


On Tuesday, July 6th, 2021 at 15:29, Howard Brazee <howard at brazee.net> wrote:

> Yep. The language changes. There are so many generations in the past with people complaining that younger generations use the language wrong, with future generations accepting the changed language as right and proper.
>
> It’s changes that happen within our own lifetimes that we notice the most. I remember when “tarmac” became airport apron, or spaceport apron after Entebbe. And I get irritated with the use of “tons” and “massive” to describe things with no weight or mass. (Where did Newton get that term?).
>
> There are so many illogical changes that I accept as part of the language because they’ve been around for hundreds of years.

I only complain about neologisms when they cannibalise an existing word.  I'm glad there is a word for homosexual that's neither medical nor derogatory, but sorry that it's almost impossible to use the original meaning of "gay" without being misunderstood or starting sniggers.  I'm glad that there is now a widely recognised gender-neutral pronoun, but really, *really* sorry that we've fallen back on the awful bureacratic convention of using "they," when there were some perfectly good new words that had been accepted and widely used for decades in the circles where gender fluidity was understood.

Peter Hews

Oh better far to live and die under the brave black flag I fly,
Than play a sanctimonious part with a pirate head and a pirate heart.

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