Thursday, 1 January 2009


There are some words it's a shame to see fall into desuetude (like desuetude); not because I have any sentimental or nostalgic attachment to olde-speake -- but simply because there aren't really any alternative pieces of terminology that mean quite the same thing, and because the concepts embodied are quite important. Frank Kermode says somewhere that it's a shame the word 'cant' has fallen out of use; our nearest modern equivalent ('bullshit') doesn't quite have the same semantic field. I'd suggest 'eschew' is another. We can't use it in everyday speech nowadays without sounding like we're quoting the Bible, or taking the piss; but the alternative is ungainly periphrasis.

1 comment:

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