a New York Times article about a single word

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu May 1 01:56:15 UTC 2008

At 4/30/2008 07:57 PM, Doug Harris wrote:
>And within that article:
>Jesse Sheidlower, the editor at large of the Oxford English Dictionary, said
>people often use strong words in a way that softens their meaning over time.
>" 'Outrageous' falls into that category," Mr. Sheidlower said. "Most of the
>things you'd call outrageous don't usually cause rage in the streets. Or
>'awesome,' which is very rarely now used to mean worthy of awe."
>Sort of like the Brits have done with 'brilliant', used most often, over
>the past couple of decades, about things/situations that are, if anything,
>brilliance challenged.

Or as U.S. TV reporters (and others) have done with "exactly" --
which now means "you're more or less right."


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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