Nora Raum's NPR essay

Michael Adams madams1448 at AOL.COM
Tue Dec 5 19:21:04 UTC 2006

Like Matt, I heard Nora Raum's little prescriptivist essay on NPR, the one in which she decried the development of other than etymological senses of words -- you can't say "half of the population was decimated" because the "deci-" is 10%; you should only use "massive" to describe mountain ranges, which have mass, but not headaches, which don't. She complained that people say "literally" when they're not being remotely literal; she complained about "ironically" used in any loose sense. Then she concluded by admitting that maybe she is too "anal," but I didn't know how to take that -- literally or ironically. A perfect example of McKean's Law in operation, I think.

~ Michael
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