Pfhorrest wrote: BlitzGirl wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:i kinda expect to get a lot of shit for this one here
Ha. Depends on what you consider your linguistic community, I suppose. We have surprising agreements on the OTT about what some OTTish terms mean, even if nobody else understands them. (Of course, we are also notorious for not sticking to any standards ni ni ni chupacabra ping qong ball...
Oh, I hadn't even thought of the linguistic oddities of this thread in particular in relation to that; by "here" I meant this forum more generally.
IMHO, the main problem with this definition is that it can sometimes go too
far. If a word had originally meant X, and then it was co-opted to mean Y, and then it was co-opted again
to mean Z, this definition would find X to be the meaning even if no one still uses that word to mean X any more, as long as X was still going on when Z started.
In particular, any leftover* pedants holding on to an otherwise obsolete earlier meaning would always be "correct" by this definition unless the pedants of the time when the later meaning had only started to appear held on to an even older
meaning (and, in principle, further up in the chain, though at that point it would be tricky to determine - there's not that much extant on what medieval people thought words' meanings were).
It also happens sometimes that a word meaning X would extend to W and Y, and then W extends to V and Y extends to Z, while the intermediate meanings are lost. (And X itself might well have derived from an earlier H.)
If we apply the definition to the word "mark", whose modern meanings (I'm somewhat simplifying) are "impression" and "pre-euro German currency", we will find out that the consensus meaning is "boundary"; the same root, as it happens, gave us "march" meaning "military song" (and, until relatively recently, "boundary region").
In other cases, the W and Y intermediaries are lost, while X is still around (and so are V and Z); this is the case of "check", whose original and presumably consensus meaning is "attack on a king in chess". (Original in English
, that is; etymologically it is the same root as "chess" itself, and originally meant "shah", as in "Persian ruler".) All the other meanings derive from the chess one, by pathways that, for the most part, had since lost their intermediate steps.
Finally, it happens sometimes that the original coiner had intended the word to mean X, and then it was popularly misinterpreted to mean A, which then quickly split into camps B and C (and D, and E...) while the original coiner still tried in vain to insist on X.
For a specific example, the word "meme" would get the extremely extensive Dawkins definition, which is hardly ever used due to its sheer extensivity (practically anything counts as a Dawkinsian meme), while most of the word's modern users debate whether it refers to all
the popular pictures on the internet or only to the captioned
ones (and probably have no idea who Dawkins is).
As for the decree, I present this song
, which is not technically about
ch*rping but mentions both it and m*stard. Sadly, I cannot recommend a video of it at the moment.
I really should get around to blitzing again... seriously fell back on it lately.
*) It is important, as well, that those are leftover
pedants; it happens sometimes that the older meaning was entirely obsolete for a while before some pedants decided to campaign for it anyway. Those scenarios can often be hard to distinguish.
There are two films that I particularly like.
One of them is a science-fiction dramatic comedy involving a boy who accidentally travelled in time. Extremely popular when it originally came out in 1985, it retains a major cult following to this day.
The other one, of course, is Back to the Future.