RE: To coin a phrase

Subject: RE: To coin a phrase
From: "Porrello, Leonard" <lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com>
To: "'dana -at- campbellsci -dot- com'" <dana -at- campbellsci -dot- com>, "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2011 20:07:42 +0000

You have to admit, it is particularly strange and uncomfortable (at least for the literate or anyone paying attention) when common usage for a word or phrase evolves/devolves to mean exactly the opposite of what the word or phrase literally means. For example, "I could care less" (meaning, "I couldn't care less"), "literally" (meaning, "figuratively"), and "to coin a phrase" (meaning, "in the current, cliché meaning of a term"). I would bet that there are many, many more. And then there is the "problem" of the double negative (for example, "I ain't done nothin'.")

Of course, there are other phrases/ideas that have become so common that we don't even notice anymore. For example, we all believe that when we purchase something on sale, we "save money."

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+lporrello=illumina -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lporrello=illumina -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Dana Worley (MVP/JB)
Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2011 12:54 PM
To: Combs, Richard
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: To coin a phrase

Really? You must live in a different world than I ;) People around me
use words incorrectly all the time, make up new words, make up new
meanings. I'm sure I'm guilty of this too.

As has been discussed, language evolves.

Dana W.

On 10/27/2011 1:48 PM, Combs, Richard wrote:
> Unless you're Humpty Dumpty, you can't just use words to mean whatever you wish.


Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:


Re: To coin a phrase: From: Dana Worley
RE: To coin a phrase: From: Combs, Richard
Re: To coin a phrase: From: Dana Worley (MVP/JB)

Previous by Author: RE: To coin a phrase
Next by Author: RE: To coin a phrase
Previous by Thread: Re: To coin a phrase
Next by Thread: Re: To coin a phrase

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

Sponsored Ads