Lozowick quotes from the Oxford University Press website on Warren G. Harding:
Although Palin is likely to be forever branded with the coinage of “refudiate,” she is by no means the first person to speak or write it—just as Warren G. Harding was not the first to use the word normalcy when he ran his 1920 presidential campaign under the slogan “A return to normalcy.” But Harding was a political celebrity, as Palin is now, and his critics spared no ridicule for his supposedly ignorant mangling of the correct word “normality.”True enough: there are manufactured words we use today, and no one says a word.
But are also words that are reworked to fit new situations:
We all use the word access, but according to my 1970 copy of the Merriam-Webster dictionary--access is a noun, not a verb. Even the word accessibility is not defined as the ability to access. But today in the computer age, who doesn't talk about the need to access information?
As one lexicographer put it:
Or look at how the media uses "militant" or "activist" to describe terrorists who attack civilians.
When the topic of Israel comes up, so too does the word "Occupation," when in point of fact--given the legal arguments on both sides of the Israeli settlements--the land is question is in fact disputed, not occupied.
And the list goes on.
Bottom line: Hobbs was wrong--we have already made language a complete impediment to understanding.
Technorati Tag: Language and Refudiate and Hamas and Operation Cast Lead.