Sunday, May 01, 2005

Statement of Intent

This is Day One of yet another blog. The purpose of this blog is to keep a check on the sloppy use of words and poor reasoning. It will be a Hall of Shame for the misuse of words. The categories include the over-use of words that strip a good word of any meaning (as in the case of ironic or tragedy), the use of cant or argot in politics (see weaponize or actionable), the twisting of good words that turn a complement into a pejorative (see the words liberal and socialist and intellectual), the use of what I call scientisms, where a word from a branch of the hard sciences is used incorrectly in the political sphere (see the words critical mass or sea change). Caveat: this writer, a man of the left, still prefers the dictionary that is proscriptive rather than descriptive. Hence, I would only use the word fiancé, to refer to a love partner who has pledged to marry at a certifiable date in the future; the word does not refer to an erstwhile cohabitant. This blog will hence be chock full of personal gripes, pet peeves, and Grundyisms.

But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. Thus sayeth Mr. Blair, Eric not Tony.

We seek to fight the good fight to preserve the currency of the English language, which like all currencies is not immune to the Greshamite tendency for bad coin to drive out the good. Good language is merely the watchful eye, the harsh bite on clenched teeth on the sovereign, assessing the true value, seeking an honest exchange for honest value.

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