> Goofing partially aside, if a term isnt widely known, it should
> be discarded.
I'm afraid I have to disagree, Spike. (with this and the pygmies in space
thing, but that's another subject) I think that developing and keeping in
use words which describe a concept for which there are no other words is a
very important cause. The richness of English comes from its wide variety
of words, with their subtle flavors and colors, and the ability of English
speakers to generate new words to describe new things. One of the rare
compliments my German friends give English is that it is very expressive and
subtle, which is also one of the only things about the language they find
hard to learn. Instead of discarding words, let's work on using them more
often, in a rich context which gives clues to their meanings. "Orthogonal"
has a different meaning than "superfluous," or "extraneous," or even
"off-topic." It's a wonderful word, and I think its worthy of use and
I hope I don't sound like one of Steven Pinker's "Language Mavens,"
protecting our hallowed language against Newspeak, but I do believe that an
expressive, subtle language is useful for converting thought to
communication to thought again.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:44 MDT