From the January 1984 magazine.

A Drunk By Any Other Name

"IF WORDS were conscious, they would often shudder at their own misuse." Many years ago, I read that statement in a book by Stuart Chase.

In English, we can say almost anything in old, established words that anybody can understand. Unnecessary revisions of basic speech irritate me. A forthcoming visit to the dentist reminded me of this when the term "false teeth" came to my mind and I wondered how, outside of textbooks for prospective dentists, these objects got to be "dentures."

There are dozens of such examples of changing everyday, clearly descriptive phrases to more...

-- B. M.

Saratoga, California