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Old Aug 15th 2010, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Literal isnít Lazy

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Oh I do. For the same reason that people think that their chances of winning the lottery are better if they play the same number every week. Simple ignorance. I will be blunt: language changes because people are ignorant.

Clearly, if this is true, then we communicate less well when we are forced to dumb down in order to be understood by those who refuse to wise up.

Too harsh?
There are plenty of reasons language evolves besides ignorance. Cultural influences, new technologies, new experiences, new ideas, etc.

What's the definition of tweet?
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  #122  
Old Aug 15th 2010, 03:49 PM
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Default Re: Literal isnít Lazy

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There are plenty of reasons language evolves besides ignorance. Cultural influences, new technologies, new experiences, new ideas, etc.

What's the definition of tweet?
You have to read my response in context. Michael was talking about the evolution of specific words in which meanings get turned around 180 degrees.
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  #123  
Old Aug 15th 2010, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Literal isnít Lazy

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You have to read my response in context. Michael was talking about the evolution of specific words in which meanings get turned around 180 degrees.
I've read the entire thread. My point is that words do not change meaning overnight, and to say it is only ignorance that changes the meaning of words, even in that context, is wrong. Everything I mentioned influences language gradually. If the meaning of a word has evolved to mean the opposite of what it used to 300 years ago, it didn't have to do it in one day. The word tweet, for example, has recently been giving a new meaning because of a new technology. It has been slightly altered. That slight alteration could give rise to it being used in another context even further removed from its 'original' meaning somewhere down the road. Ignorance isn't necessarily a factor.
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  #124  
Old Aug 15th 2010, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: Literal isnít Lazy

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I've read the entire thread. My point is that words do not change meaning overnight, and to say it is only ignorance that changes the meaning of words, even in that context, is wrong. Everything I mentioned influences language gradually. If the meaning of a word has evolved to mean the opposite of what it used to 300 years ago, it didn't have to do it in one day. The word tweet, for example, has recently been giving a new meaning because of a new technology. It has been slightly altered. That slight alteration could give rise to it being used in another context even further removed from its 'original' meaning somewhere down the road. Ignorance isn't necessarily a factor.
Are you trying to say that, by virtue of assignment to a new technology, the word tweet will cease to be an onomatopoeia representing the sound of a bird?
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Old Sep 18th 2010, 11:25 AM
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Default Re: Literal isnít Lazy

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I've read the entire thread. My point is that words do not change meaning overnight, and to say it is only ignorance that changes the meaning of words, even in that context, is wrong. Everything I mentioned influences language gradually. If the meaning of a word has evolved to mean the opposite of what it used to 300 years ago, it didn't have to do it in one day. The word tweet, for example, has recently been giving a new meaning because of a new technology. It has been slightly altered. That slight alteration could give rise to it being used in another context even further removed from its 'original' meaning somewhere down the road. Ignorance isn't necessarily a factor.
Yes, the meanings of some words can change over time. But the old meanings never seem to die.

The term "boy" or "girl" both originate in the English language as terms specifically for servants. Both terms have developed a new and common meaning as generic terms for children or minors. But if you call an adult black man a "boy" you are implying the old meaning of the word and that's obnoxious and racist, even though that man is indeed, a male.
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