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Old October 6th 05, 05:28 PM
Jan Böhme
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Nostrobino wrote:
"Jan B=F6hme" wrote in message

Nostrobino skrev:

Evolution of language is inevitable and
natural up to a point, but it's not evolution when a perfectly sensible
technical term is, through misunderstanding and/or ignorance, redefined=

nonsensical manner. Evolution implies improvement, not deterioration.

This is a misconception, both with respect to Darwinian evoloution of
species, and with respect to the evolution of language. Evolution does
_not_ ipmly "improvement", which is a pretty subjective term.
Evolution, both biological and, linguistic, is a combination of
stochastic change - what evolutionary biologists call "neutral drift" -
and adaptation.

And adaptation isn't the same thing as "improvement". One can easily
see the new meaning of "prime lens" as an adaptation to the fact that
today's photogs know less about the history of photography than
photographers uesd to.

I acknowledge the correction, but adaptation does imply improvement at le=

with respect to the situation being adapted to. (Why else adapt?) I don't
see that using a term incorrectly, out of ignorance of that term's actual
meaning, can reasonably be described as "adaptation."

If the need for the original meaning no longer is there, and it
replaces a longer term (and "fix-focus" and its likes certainly are
longer than "prime") it could be considered as an adaptation.

But I agree that it is a bit doubtful. It might be better to think of
"prime" in the sense of "fix-focus" as neutral drift that, at one point
in time, was enabled because there no longer was enough negative
selection against it.

Jan B=F6hme