April 17th, 2011

grammar

"Disinterested or uninterested? How long we should cling to a word's original meaning." (sic.)

This article is relevant to my interests and the topics of some of my recent posts, namely the changing 'English' language and dialects.

Disinterested or uninterested? How long we should cling to a word's original meaning. - By Ben Yagoda - Slate Magazine (sic.) Yes, they left out the second question mark (?) in that title.

So, do disinterested and uninterested have different meanings to you? Are there any other words or phrases that have seen definition-creep in recent years that cause you to trip over them now and then?

ETA: Some examples of my own;
  • From an advert on the TV for some car or other, "less emissions". Surely that should be "fewer emissions" or maybe "lower emissions"?

  • I am sure that I remember a "stain" being something that did not come out in the wash, when I was a child, as in, "Be careful or that will stain!" rather than, "Be careful or that will make X dirty!" Now, however, if you get ketchup, wine or grass on your clothes (or sheets or whatever) it is immediately a "stain" and you need to add extra substances to your laundry process because a biological laundry powder/liquid/tablet will not be up to the job on its own. Maybe the manufacturers of said laundry powders/liquids/tablets should be fined/sued/whatever for selling a product that does not do what it says on the box/bottle/packet?


I can see this maybe becoming an occasional/regular posting on my LJ. I hereby add the tag "language-creep".
puffin

Writer's Block: Color me curious

If you were a crayon, what color would you be, and why? What color would your ideal mate be, and why?


I would chose to be a calm, deep blue-green. Maybe #2B5555 / 43.85.85 in hex/rgb. Or #6B8E23, unromantically known as web colo(u)r "olivedrab". For my partner? No idea really. As ling as they are not bright pink and/or anything that would strobe or give me a migraine, I think we would be okay. As it is, I don't know what colour hubby would chose for himself. Interesting thought-exercise.