Gradivus
 
Mors Fellat.
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    • Gradivus

      A major problem we have today is application of the theory among language “scientists” that language must evolve strictly with usage, and therefore if a word is misused often enough, the misuse becomes correct. But while evolution of language is fine when it serves to increase communication, this theory is now being applied when it causes confusion and failure of communication as well. As a result, major dictionaries are adding misused words to the dictionaries as real words, and are adding incorrect definitions as alternate definitions for words in accordance with how they are being misused. This phenomenon results in opinions like that of the Luddite who posted here something like, “Uh, that word can have the other meaning as well - look it up!” In some cases this is resulting in words being listed in dictionaries with alternate definitions that conflict with, and in some cases are actually opposite to their actual meanings. For example, the word literally is so often misused to mean figuratively, that there are dictionaries now giving (as an alternate definition) that literally means effectively or virtually (i.e., figuratively, but not really). And the word decimate (kill every tenth person, or reduce by one tenth) is so often misused in place of devastate that dictionaries are now giving an alternate definition for decimate that implies massive destruction, so that 90% destruction now qualifies as decimation as well. Dictionary.com (a major offender) actually gives “destroy a great proportion of” as the primary definition! No wonder our language is being Babelized.