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Old May 14, 2013, 08:35 AM   #87
Mike Irwin
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 39,092
"Mike, there is a difference between a clip and a magazine; it is one of kind, not degree.

While words change over time, they normally do not change in a way that creates direct conflict with meaning, with the exception of slang (hot, cool, bad, and def leap to mind).

Or would you prefer to argue with Abraham Lincoln as to whether a tail should count as a fifth leg?"


You mean, like, words actually mean things and stuff? I had no idea!

Here's a particuarly nuanced concept...

Words mean things because people ACCEPT that they mean something.

There's no American Society for Correct and Absolute Word Definitions and Usage that sets a definitive standard for what a word means.

That means that the English language is, by and large, heuristic AND a reflection AND invention of the needs and desires of the people who use it.

You can stamp your foot all you want and shout "CLIP AND MAGAZINE ARE NOT THE SAME THING!"

But, for many people, a clip and a magazine ARE the EXACT same thing, because they UNDERSTAND and ACCEPT them to be the same thing.

One can find that reality reflected in common usage dictionaries, where ammunition clip and magazine have similar to identical definitions.

So, while the Abraham Lincoln story is quaint, it is, in its own way, a reflection of the reality of the situation.

So, you can do one of two things...

1. You can accept that the English language and its practitioners aren't living up to your exacting standards, or

2. You can make it your personal mission in life to change public consciousness and culture.

Me, I don't particularly care, because I choose the unique concept of COMPREHENSION.

I know what they're talking about, I UNDERSTAND their statement, so I see no need to be a snob and call out their ignorance publicly.
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.

Last edited by 4V50 Gary; May 14, 2013 at 01:01 PM.
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