I made use of Raven Lake Fathoms↑ this morning to smooth out the rough edges of my frustration.
The bad news is that I still plan to vent a bit, the good news is that it will be considerably more moderate in tone than it might have been. :)
I love language. I enjoy well written books of all kinds and delight in intelligent and erudite speech. I’m not foolish enough to believe that language should be static or unchanging, however, there are some mutations that are simply painful.
I might cringe as nouns become verbs (e.g., to ‘action’ something), or verbs morph into nouns (e.g., ‘deliverable”), but that’s just progress. Changing a noun into an adjective can hurt those of us who remember simpler days. I won’t fight it, but “it’s so fun” will always sound like fingernails on a blackboard.
What is completely unacceptable is the constant use of a word which means something totally different than what you are trying to say.
For some reason even reasonable, articulate, and educated individuals have difficulty with the word “descendant”. Hearing it used incorrectly on the news the other night (which was the 5th or 6th time I’d heard/seen it in some venue or other in the past two weeks) was the last straw.
Unless you are a 480 year old vampire your descendants did not come over on the Mayflower or do anything else in history. On the other hand, if you wish to refer to your ancestors I’ll pay attention. For those who have difficulty remembering the difference – a comes before d. Your ancestors came before you, your descendants will follow.