FW: Same sound, opposite meaning

Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Fri May 10 03:01:26 UTC 2002

        [Mark Mandel]
#> >  I don't agree. "Verbal" in the strict and original sense and my usage
#> >  includes written and oral language; in sloppyXXXXXX common present use
#> >  it refers to oral language only, explicitly opposed to written.

        [Fred Shapiro]
#"Verbal" meaning "oral" goes back to 1591 and was used in this sense by
#Pepys, Swift, Hume, Scott, and Lincoln.  Not exactly a sloppy recent

Well! (eyebrows up) Thanks for that dating. I still feel it's sloppy,
depriving us of a useful word ("verbal" = 'in words') by stealing it for
a sense we already have a perfectly good word for ("oral"), but it's
obviously got a long pedigree.

-- Mark

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