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Old October 3rd 05, 12:10 PM
Floyd Davidson
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Posts: n/a

nick c wrote:
David Littlewood wrote:
I suggest that, whatever the rights and wrongs of the meaning
of language (and I do think you have a good point, regrettable
though it is) the use of such a *******ised words is best
avoided by those who value precision of language. Those who do
use it may be suspected by some of slipshod linguistic

"English is the most widely learned and used foreign language in the
world, and, as such, many linguists believe it is no longer the
exclusive cultural emblem of "native English speakers," but rather a
language that is absorbing aspects of cultures worldwide as it grows in
use. Others believe that there are limits to how far English can go in
suiting everyone for communication purposes. "

That is an excellent point. There should perhaps be some
emphasis on the purpose of language though, which is to
communicate information. Pedants of trivia who concern
themselves with criticism of the "correct" mechanisms of
language evolution are missing the point entirely. It makes
*no* difference why or how a change takes place. All that
counts is whether it serves the purpose well for communicating

For some people that is more significant, and more apparent,
than it is for others. Barrow happens to be a very
international place, with a majority of the population speaking
English as a second language. I typically hear people born in
Mexico, American Samoa, Korea, the Philipines, and Thailand, not
to mention the local Inupiaq speakers all speaking 1) their
native language and 2) English that varies from person to
person. *Nobody* cares whether words match precise dictionary
meanings, because *point* is to communicate.

When people *communicate*, the question is not "what did they
say", but "what did they mean".

FloydL. Davidson
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)