But on the other hand, people routinely resist current changes in the language. The language they learn as children is, for many, the only acceptable manner of speaking.
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Change is vehemently eschewed. How people can revel in the changes of the past yet fiercely resist the changes of the present is just bizarre.
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And it is futile. The language will change whether we like it or not, and no amount of resistance will stop a change whose time has come. This resistance usually takes one of several classic forms. In this series of articles, we well examine each of these classic errors of resistance.
Here are two more:. It was originally a form of Roman military punishment, used when soldiers committed mutiny or some other group crime.
The aggrieved language mavens concluded that if deci- means ten in Latin, the word decimate could mean nothing other than to destroy one tenth of something. What the mavens forgot was that the sense of a word is determined by how it is used, not by how the word originated.
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If enough people use decimate figuratively, meaning to kill in large numbers, then that is what the word comes to mean. The meanings of words change over time.
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Words acquire new senses and lose old ones; they acquire connotations; they specialize and generalize and they are used metaphorically and figuratively. This is a natural and continuous process. Almost no word is used in exactly and in only the way it was when it first entered the language. This error is so common that linguists have given it a name, the etymological fallacy , or the belief that the original sense must be the correct sense.
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But current usage among American college students is "having a sexual encounter with," a one-night stand. Assemble or wire a mechanism, as in Dick helped us hook up the stereo system. Connect a mechanism with a main source, as in The computer had not yet been hooked up to the mainframe.
Form a tie or association, as in She had hooked up with the wrong crowd. Hi, this is Lucille. The word "hook up" can be used for people want to join in a group. It won't have any meaningful origins, it's just modern slang probably meaning people adjoining or "hooking" together. Last edited on Nov 20 Last edited on Oct 01 He hooked me up with some dinner. Last edited on Jul 25 Other terms relating to ' requests list of ': Other terms relating to ' sex or not-quite-sex ambiguous terms ': Other terms relating to ' to deal drugs, drug dealer ': Other terms relating to ' to meet with ': Average of votes: Vote how vulgar the word is — not how mean it is.
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I've started naming names.
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