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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."
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.
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.
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