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Old October 2nd 05, 05:19 PM
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"Jan Böhme" 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 in
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 least
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."

Shortening a term because it no longer needs to be full length to be
understood is a natural form of such adaptation. For example, submarine
boats quickly became "submarines," and automatic pistols became
"automatics." In both cases the adjective became the (and replaced) the
noun. That's evolution. To take "prime lens," a term that already had a
specific technical meaning, and give it an entirely different and unrelated
meaning, is not evolution in any way that I can see.