Tag Archives: literacy

Words that are no longer allowed because everyone uses them

If someone on the internet decides to use a new word of either archaic or obscure origin, it will almost always be imitated by someone else.  This has been the case for as long as the word has been written down on paper and shared with other people.  The advent of the internet, however, has made the cycle by which words fall in and out of fashion much shorter, as well as much more easily observed.  A writer will choose a word to use that will demonstrate their esoteric knowledge or their seemingly eccentric sensibilities.  Someone else picks up on a word well-used and imitates it in their own writing.  Pretty soon, one sees it in newsprint, on television, and in music.

I’m not someone who will stop wearing an article of clothing because it has all of a sudden come into fashion (and is therefore worthy of the irksome moniker ‘trendy’).  Some words are invoked for little other reason than their obscurity.  Because of the phenomenon above, however, these words quickly lose their use.  When I spot these words in newsprint, it serves to render its home (the article in which it is used) impotent.  Some of the words I have in mind:

  • Vapid
  • Belated
  • Fierce
  • Predicate

I had a much longer list in mind when I started this post, but in my efforts to not use any of these words in the post itself I forgot most of them.  I’ll update the list when they cross my mind (or my path online) again.

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