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Here I state my opinions about questions of English grammar and word usage.
I just saw an article describe the word "agreeance," which I had never heard of before. It means the state (for multiple persons or entities) of agreeing about some topic. One way to use it is to say "in agreeance with", rather than "in agreement with". The two are equivalent.
However, one could also say "our agreeance" to refer to "the fact that we agree." I would hesitate to say "our agreement" with that meaning, since the most natural meaning of "our agreement" is "the deal we made" — which is not the same thing, and paradoxical if we did not make any deal.
The use of "agreeance" could therefore be an improvement in the expressivity of English, provided we make this a distinction of meaning between it and "agreement". Otherwise, it will be pointless.
I like the word "blocklist" as a replacement for "blacklist", when talking about disallowing some activity by certain users or processes. It directly states the point of the list. Likewise, "allowlist".
However, when talking about an organized plan to keep certain people from getting work — often organized by rich right-wing warlords of industry — I think that "blacklist" is the only word that expresses the harm that this does. Its meaning is not racist, and we should not give it up.
Calling a third dose of Covid-19 vaccine a "booster" is normal use of that word. However, to describe the people who have had a third dose as "boosted" is a bizarre abuse of language. Their immunity has been boosted, not the persons themselves.
Etymology does not dictate what words should mean, but in the case of "decimate" it offers a more useful meaning. The older meaning, "take or kill 10%", is unique in the English language; with that meaning, the word adds something to the language. If we make the word equivalent to "devastate", it becomes a mere redundant synonym, used only as a fashion, and eventually to be replaced by some newer fashion and lost entirely.
People who don't know the mathematical meaning of "exponentially" are misusing it with a vague meaning that is, roughly, "very fast."
If they were to hijack the word completely, it would become yet another interchangeable intensifier and would eventually be dropped entirely for some new fashions.
I don't think it will reach that point, because people with mathematical knowledge who know the proper meaning will continue to use the word correctly. Nonetheless, misuse of "exponentially" impedes conveying the point that something (perhaps a disease, or a fad) continues growing by a certain factor in a certain period of time.
It always disconcerts me to see the name "liberal" used to refer to plutocratist politicians like Biden and Pelosi. In the US, when I was young, it meant what "progressive" means today. During the 60s and 70s, most of progressive causes of today were taken up mainly by liberals.
It was Republicans, starting with Reagan, who launched a campaign to pervert the term in the US. They began calling plutocratist Democrats "liberal" (although they were not really liberals) while attacking their centrist policies falsely as leftist. We liberals did not like those Democrats very much, but the public began to associate the term with their views. Perhaps the business interests that came increasingly to dominate the media in the 1980s aided that campaign.
When I started paying attention to politics in other countries, I gradually became aware that "liberal" outside the US had never meant what it meant in the US. It meant something different: that the state did not dictate what people and businesses could do. In its extreme form, it resembles the antisocialists (who call themselves "libertarians").
Its mainstream form can accept regulation for public safety, and some systems of public investment and help for the poor where opposing the public demand for them would be political suicide.
That is not what "liberal" has ever meant to me, but I guess it must have been the original meaning of the term, and that it changed in the US well before my time.
Nowadays I don't see that anyone in the US uses the term "liberal" except as an attack against plutocratist Democrats. I am sorry to see it brought so low.
English today gives us the useful distinction between "disinterested", which means "unbiased", and "uninterested", which means "not caring." However, that distinction is in danger of getting lost, as some give "disintersted" the meaning "not caring." That loss would be unfortunate.
These words' meanings have changed over time; I've even read that there was a time when each has the meaning that the other now has. But their history is at most a suggestion for the pragmatic issue that affects these words today.
We have two words that make a useful distinction. If we make them synonyms, they will cease to serve for making that distinction. Our language will be less rich, and our communication less clear.
Please help protect the distinction, and keep English powerful.
Using a noun as a modifier before another noun or noun phrase leaves the relationship between them unspecified. Does "police killings" mean "killings by police" or "killings of police"? It could be either one.
Both kinds of events are generally bad, but they raise very different issues. Please make it clear, in your writing, which one you mean.
"Reach out to" used to mean asking for help, especially from someone you might have hesitated to ask. That's an interesting metaphor.
In the past few years, business has degraded the term into a synonym for "call or contact". This is a change for the worse: it converts a special and interesting word into just another synonym. Please join me in defending the old meaning.
To call someone a "survivor" of a trauma presumes that (1) such trauma often causes death, and (2) in your case, the danger of death is over and past. Unless both conditions apply to you, you're not a "survivor." If the trauma causes continuing pain or disability, that may be horrible, but that itself doesn't make you a "survivor." On the other hand, if the continuing problem could itself be fatal, for instance if it could drive you to suicide, then you are not yet a survivor of that danger, because the danger isn't over.
In 2003 I slipped on wet ice in an airport and broke bones in my elbow. Immediately after, the pain was so great that I began shouting, "Kill me now! Kill me now!" Just the thought of those minutes, while the medics were on their way, assaults me with unbearable memory. But the real experience, I bore -- I couldn't avoid doing so. Then the pain stopped, when they splinted my arm.
I wished for a while that I were dead, but I was in no actual danger of dying. Can you call me a "broken elbow survivor" for that? Only as irony. Broken elbows, as such, are simply not fatal under normal circumstances, so you can't be a "survivor" of one.