Looney Labs Rabbits Mailing list Archive

Re: [Rabbits] Re: spelling

  • FromMarnen Laibow-Koser <marnen@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateTue, 18 Sep 2007 09:45:55 -0400
On Sep 18, 2007, at 9:36 AM, Carlton Noles wrote:

Agreed Regarding Dictionaries ESPECIALLY regarding usage. My two pet peeves are Celibate (which is abstaining from marriage NOT sex (that's chastity))

Celibate: adjective.
Chastity: noun.

Your point may stand, but I think you meant "chaste", not "chastity". And "chaste" itself has had enough shift in meaning that it is no longer a synonym for "celibate", if indeed it ever really was.

and nauseous (which means causes or causing nausea, comparable to noxious, NOT feeling nausea, that would be nauseated).

The use as a synonym of "nauseated" is well enough established that I would no longer call it incorrect.

The dictionary has added the more common and long time incorrect usage of both of these words to their definitions.

It's called semantic drift, and it happens all the time...it's just a matter of deciding when a new meaning has enough momentum behind it to consider it established.

Recall that the King of England (Charles II?), upon seeing Christopher Wren's designs for St. Paul's Cathedral, called them "awe- full and artificial." But it was a compliment. We would have said "awesome and artistic". That's semantic drift for you.

I am surprised that someone who cares so much about usage makes so many grammar and punctuation errors...

Way off topic,
Marnen Laibow-Koser

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