Words just aren’t what they used to be.
My father loves to tell a story that when I was a boy I told him that the English language had too many words and that we probably only needed about 300 words and we could just throw out the rest.
Since then I’ve grown-up and changed my tune; what I didn’t understand then is that almost every word in the English language has a unique definition. There are very few true synonyms (an exception may be flammable and inflammable). After all, why would there need to be two words if they shared the exact same meaning?
The problem is that in this age of sound-bytes, texting and twitter, words are losing their subtleties and nuances.
A friend of mine recently posted a blog article where he called hermits aberrant human beings. He got a negative comment that said there was nothing wrong with being introverted or asocial.
Being a hermit doesn’t mean the same thing as introverted. Except that the language has become so relaxed we’ll say things like, “Yeah I was such a hermit last night I stayed in my room and played video games till 2 in the morning and didn’t see anyone.”
Therefore it should be no surprise that the commenter momentarily forgot what the word hermit actually means.
Hermit- A person who has withdrawn from society and lives a solitary existence; a recluse.
Introvert- a shy person.
In case anyone is still confused I’ll break it down into logical statements:
All hermits are introverts
But, all introverts are not hermits.
Or, broken down into the hierarchy of smallest, bigger, and biggest you have introverts, asocial humans, and hermits.
Has anyone else noticed words losing their meanings?
[In conclusion, I want everyone to specify the exact meaning of every word they use. If English doesn’t have the distinction borrow it from another language. So when you tell your wife/husband you love them specify that it is Agape-love and when you tell your brother/sister or house pet that you love them specify that it is Philia-love. I promise that people will think you’re smarter and no one will think you’re a pompous windbag.]- Sarcasm