Vocabula's venom

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Tue Jun 17 02:12:57 UTC 2003

In a message dated 6/16/03 6:20:17 PM, LJT777 at AOL.COM writes:

> Alliances aside, I have been taken aback to see how venomous and
> self-righteous the comments have been here today.  Surely we can have a 
> civil discourse.

Such "venom" and "righteousness" as have been directed at VOCABULA, it seems 
to me, has by and large been in response to the self-righteousness and 
patronizing condescension of statements such as the following:

Along with the evolution of language — the thousands of neologisms that new
technologies and new thinking have brought about, for instance — there has 
a concurrent, if perhaps less recognizable, devolution of language. The
English language has become more precise for some users of it while becoming 
plodding for others. Not a small part of this new cumbrousness is due to the
loss of distinctions between words, the misuse of words, and other abuses of

Is there no little self-righteousness (and, for that matter, thinly veiled 
venom)) in "precise" vs. "plodding"? "cumbrousness"? "misuse"? "abuse"? The idea 
that "the English language" is "becoming" worse (or. for that matter, better) 
is not so much mistaken as meaningless.

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