Re: Don't you love farce?

Subject: Re: Don't you love farce?
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 01 Oct 2001 14:50:48 -0700

Ellen Vanrenen wrote:

> Per the next email I sent, I forgot to include the word "execute." And why
> is everybody always "utilizing?"

Think of these coinings as natural selection in language. Dozens of words or new
usages are coined every year, but, in order to survive, they need to express a
meaning that no other word covers, have a useful nuance, or otherwise prove
themselves useful. Most don't, and disappear fairly soon.

The process is simply a sign that the language is healthy, and changing. While
most of us probably find that certain usages make us cringe (I happen to dislike
"obsess" used as a verb), our reactions are really just a sign of how neurotic
we all are about grammar, even those of us for whom it's a professional tool.

To put the matter into perspective: about 185 years ago, people were complaining
in the same way about the use of "unconscious" to refer to part of the mind.
About 60 years ago, they were complaining about the use of "individual" as a
noun. Everyone said that these usages were pretentious and unnecessary, yet
nowadays no one thinks twice about them.

Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177

"I work for the pleasure of stopping,
I stop for the pleasure of beer."
-The Mollys, "The Lang Town"


Planning to attend IPCC 01, October 24-27 in Santa Fe? Sign up by
October 3 and get a substantial discount! Program information,
online registration, and more on

+++ Miramo -- Database/XML publishing automation. See us at +++
+++ Seybold SFO, Sept. 25-27, in the Adobe Partners Pavilion +++
+++ More info: +++

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


RE: Re[2]: Don't you love farce?: From: Ellen Vanrenen

Previous by Author: Re: Don't you love farce?
Next by Author: Re: Don't you love farce?
Previous by Thread: RE: Re[2]: Don't you love farce?
Next by Thread: Re: Don't you love farce?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads