We are often told by a certain segment of the population that languages evolve over time, and thus the arbitrary and false-to-facts changes they are insisting upon are perfectly legitimate.
It’s indeed true that languages evolve. Animals evolve too, but chopping a cat’s tail off with a butcher knife isn’t ‘evolution’, and neither is screaming at someone until he uses the words you want him to use instead of the ones that correspond to reality.
3 thoughts on “Thought of the Day: Evolving Language”
Well, there is forced evolution. Like the way African elephants no longer have giant “tusker” specimens anymore. They are changing/were forced to change to avoid a hostile influence…but they still are surviving.
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Some of us would say language mostly *de*volves. (Just think how much disgraceful feminist jargon we could have avoided if we hadn’t let the word “wight” fall out of fashion.) Then again, some of us would also say that about African elephants. Basically, whenever the word “evolve” is used with reference to contemporary phenomena, I’d say there’s at least an 80% chance that the speaker’s trying to put an unjustifiably good spin on humanity’s latest bit of thoughtless vandalism.
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That’s an observation deserving a full post of its own.