Sunday, December 10, 2006

You know that you're getting old when...

you start defending the purity of the English language from things that some people believe are words. For example, "natch" is not a real word. Even as an abbreviation it seems like it is derived from a misspelling of "naturally" as "natchurally". The word seems to me something cooked up by the drug subculture insofar as the only people I seem to hear saying it are weedy college undergraduates ... and certain trendy and purportedly serious writers.

Another example is Merriam-Webster's word of the year for 2006: "truthiness" (please please don't spell it "truthyness"). The definition given by the American Dialect Society is "the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true". Of course, back in the good old days when statements were either true or false, this would be called some variant of stupidity, delusion, or sophistry.

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